This is a quite an odd one for me.
In some ways, those who have died are more important than those who are alive. “Huh” I hear you say. Not ‘anyone’ but for example, those who we look up to in terms of increasing our spiritual awareness. In this case, they are more important (in my view), than us ‘mere mortals’ who need guiding. I do appreciate that this isn’t everyone’s view. For those of you who share this view, I get that we all have different levels of spiritual awareness too.
In another way, those who are alive are important. We may live with them, see them a lot, learn from them, guide them etc. Thus we may need to take their views and needs into account.
In another way you could say we should give importance to those who have died. We should perhaps try to fulfil their wishes as they cannot do so themselves.
I’m not sure where we would draw the line? Would it be when it suited us? Would we try and do as much as possible and end up living for the deceased or as if we were in their presence?
For example, I’ve had a few car accidents and I know that if my dad was alive he probably wouldn’t have wanted me to get in a car again. He may have even tried to chauffeur me around or possibly arrange for cabs to do the same. Who knows? So if I did what suited me I would ignore knowing that he would prefer that.
However, my mum would want me to be independent. To be able to get from A to B. To be able to help others out if need be in terms of getting them where they need to be. To be able to get to work in 10 minutes by car, instead of 1 1/2 hours by London Transport. So when do her wishes supersede what my dad may have wished? And vice versa?
What do I adhere to and why? Because it suits me? Because I believe in that more? Because I get it more? Why?
My aunt has passed away and she was very anti having a big event for anything. So should her children not have a big wedding for that reason? Does it suit to not do that? Would you ensure you followed it so that she can be remembered during the ‘small event’ e.g. “Aunt Sheela would have loved this”
What about her sister who took over the care of aunt Sheela’s children? She is alive and she wants to see them married off with a huge wedding. Do we ignore the wishes of the living? In this case, what makes the deceased more important? What makes the living more important? Or is it not about that at all? Is it about the people in the relationship? This example, of course, could apply to birthday parties, moving home etc. Do you keep it small or do you celebrate in a big way?
What do you do?
I am fortunate in that my mother hasn’t ever said to me your dad would have wanted this or he would have not wanted this. I know I would have got caught up in the guilt, been confused, possibly been cross about the situation, implications and then who knows what conclusion I would have come to. It’s all very difficult isn’t it? In my eyes it’s not clear or easy.
What do you think?