One of my coworkers was married to a woman “Jane” who was mentally ill and had serious physical problems as well. Jane called her husband at work so often that he stopped answering his personal phone line. She then started calling the group phone number and talking at length to whomever answered. Her favorite topics were the details of her unending medical problems, what a genius her husband was, and that she knew he was cheating on her (he was not).
When Jane died somewhat unexpectedly, my work group attended her funeral. We sat with other mourners in the sanctuary. The family was sequestered in a room off to the side.
Jane belonged to a hardcore fundamentalist sect. The remarks made by her preacher during the service left those of us in the sanctuary with our mouths hanging open in shock. We were unable to see the reaction of the family.
Reverend Nutjob stated that Jane had had her share of trouble, but had been the source of much trouble for others. He described in detail how Jane had phoned him frequently, day and night. He said that he often cried to the Lord, “Why have you inflicted this woman upon me?” Smiling blissfully, he informed us that now that Jane was dead, he understood God’s message: if you truly believe, God will eventually remove even your worst troubles.
He also spoke at length about religious matters unrelated to Jane’s life or death. He proclaimed that we should get ourselves straight because he knew for a fact that Jesus was coming back within the next two years. (I hope he didn’t sell all his possessions, because it’s been four years now.) He informed us that according to the Bible, Heaven is a cube one mile wide, one mile deep, and one mile high. (That sounds barely big enough to hold Reverend Nutjob’s ego. I guess the rest of the universe is needed to hold all the sinners – like those who know better than to express delight over a person’s death at the funeral.) 0318-09