Scene 4: Flashback. In the Month and a half after Kandy’s Death. Just before The story began. Show John before a computer, typing various articles and poetry in montage supporting the narration.
I suppose I should backtrack a bit and explain how the whole thing began. Kandy died on November 20. Between November 20 and January 15, I worked tirelessly on two projects. The first was a memorialization of her in written form. The second was much more complicated.
I had wanted to write a special story for our anniversary, but her death had changed everything. Our plans, what we had decided to do for Thanksgiving, her birthday, Christmas, and our anniversary had all been cancelled in a single unexpected minute. I had taken about a month to mourn a bit before returning to writing. I was not done mourning, no, but rather I was ready to mourn in written word.
But, then, I was best at the written word. The first pieces were poetry. And then nonfiction. And finally, a script. The memorial to her love.
It would be my nonfiction that caused the most problems. What is it about confessing that one has but a short time left that makes ministers believe that one is depressed? What makes them believe that it is wrong to accept the finite-ness of this human existence? Or that wanting someone to respect the last wishes of the dead is somehow wrong when it is not?
Whatever it is, I set off alarms with a letter that I wrote Kandy’s mother’s minister that had my own mother at the door trying to rebuke me for stating truth.
scenes change to match the narration.
About a month into mourning, I wrote an email to a resistance organization. I was attempting to start a bloodless coup in the business world through shifting certain long-held, but dangerous, paradigms. It was December and Christmas was drawing near, so I thought they would contact me the week after the holiday. No such luck. So I wrote another the day after New Year’s Day. Still nothing.
As I did so, I began my magnum opus to my immortal beloved: the pilot to a series about our love affair. I poured into it all my love. All my joy. All my adoration. All my pain. All my sorrow. In ten episodes, I had an amazing series started.
I was contacted by The head of a studio shortly after submitting it. At the same time, I found myself being visited by my mother-in-law Brenda’s preacher. He had made the trek north into the hinterland to see for himself that I was, in no way, depressed. He brought reinforcements in the form of his superior.
Talking of death is always a sign of depression.
Do I look like I am depressed? I just signed a multi-billion dollar deal! I should be elated! Look. Just because I came clean and told you that I am dying doesn’t mean that I am depressed. It simply means that I have accepted the fact that I am dying.
I wake up every fucking day in pain. I go to bed in pain. I have had heart problems since about ten to fifteen years ago. If not longer. It has only been fairly recent that I have been able to notice the little things. Before that, other problems kept me from noticing the real problem.
The last time I had surgery, the doctor looked at me and told me that he couldn’t see how I was still alive. I was in that bad of shape. I haven’t rebounded from that either.
the only reason death hasn’t taken me yet is because He wants me to do something. Why has not been made clear yet.
(changing direction after noticing the blank looks he is getting)
OK, I can see this is all foreign to you. Let me start again by asking a few questions.
(pauses, gasps for breath as a pain strikes)
Do you believe that He shows you what will take place in dreams?
Be careful how you answer, because a denial will literally negate your claim of believing prophecy in the Bible.
Of course we believe in that. Why?
Do you believe that He could even show you how your life, or the life of a loved one will end?
Well, yes. Why?
For the two months before Kandy died, I had recurring dreams. They were of a city whose center was completely dead and decaying. She would vanish only seconds after we would arrive in this city and I would frantically search for her but never find her.
(takes another deep breath and lets it out)
After the doctor told me how she died, I realized what the dream was trying to tell me. The problem was that I was too late to prevent anything. The week after she died, I began having a similar recurring dream. This time, I was accompanied by a young woman and a young boy of about eight. The difference was that I vanished and the boy went in search of me. And he never found me.
Being the philosophically astute man that I am, and being in tune with my spiritual side, I realized that I was being told that I, too, had something wrong with my heart and that I also only had a short time left. I have just enough time to finish what I started. No more, no less. Death, you see, is ready for me now and I have to complete whatever it is I have been sent to do.
Now, all I want is to have one day without pain. Understand that I have lived my whole life in pain. Physical pain. emotional pain. But never spiritual pain. Spiritually, I have always been at peace. Until now. These new revelations have unsettled me. Awakened me.
I believe I see now.
The second question will answer why I sent the letter.
(gasps as another pain hits)
Exactly Who is a memorial service for? Ids it for the living? Or is it to remember and honor the recently deceased?
It’s to memorialize the deceased and honor their wishes, of course. Why?
So many people use a memorial service to make themselves comfortable about the deceased instead of being proud of them. Brenda is no different. She has always been ashamed of Kandy because her daughter was never religious. She didn’t see the need for physical deeds to make her spiritual growth happen.
Unfortunately, Brenda believes that she needs to send Kandy off in a “Christian” manner without even realizing that even songs about nature are praising God. Basically, she is forgetting who is being memorialized and honored, instead glorifying and justifying herself.
She feels that, just because Kandy and I had planned on returning a courtesy, namely being invited to my mother’s church, that we had planned to begin going to church. She didn’t know that we had returned the same courtesy at a Mormon church because a friend of mine, who happens to be the bishop over that church, also invited us. It had nothing to do with a permanent return to something we both felt we had outgrown spiritually.
out Christ and Preacher
How can you say that you have outgrown Christ?
You misunderstand me. I didn’t say that we had outgrown Christ. I said that we had outgrown the message you and all churches seem stuck on. We had both seen that Christianity had stopped being about Christ and had begun to be about the personal biases of the members and clergy.
Nearly all churches have begun to preach hate, greed, and self. Not the Selflessness, Kindness, generosity, understanding, mercy, and unconditional love that Christ taught. N, you are stuck on Moses, Peter, Paul, James, or John. You call these your fundamentals. The true fundamentals are the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John…and The Acts. Everything before was fulfilled by Christ. Everything after are simply internal memos that are to dead churches in dead cities and we have not been given the questions that actually go along with the answers given. And we, as Christians, tend to ignore history–cultures, customs, religious cults, and so on–believing that the Bible explains all. It doesn’t Never did. It is up to us to find the pieces that complete the puzzle. We cannot afford to sit on our asses and be complacent and comfortable. We are supposed to grow and move forward. No matter how many times we have to change how we believe or what.
The room goes silent. The preacher stirs after a few minutes, rising. His superior is smiling, realizing that they both just got their asses handed to them theologically.
(to the preacher)
I think he ought to give the Memorial service. I also think he ought to give your congregation the sermon he sent you. It may scare them, but he might actually be able to broaden it out and give more information.
(in a defeated tone0
I believe you’re right.
(looks up at John with a newfound respect)
Would you be willing?
(with a grin)
Yes I can. And I will.
(picking up a handprint and a photo album)
Can I ask you a favor?
(holding out the two items, offering them to the preacher)
Can you deliver these to Brenda?
(taking the two items)
I sure can.
The three shake hands and the preacher and his superior leave John’s house. Fade to black. End of scene