I've decided to start blogging because, it's a good way to keep my updates a little more regular. I may chose to continue emailing for longer rants and reflections, and keep the blogs for the less elaborate stuff! For today, a reflection:
I have been in Wiki now for almost a month. There have been many wonderful and inspiring experiences here, but the most common one has been funerals. Funerals are frequent here -11 since I've been here. Another one today-. There are many reasons for that, but I think poor access to a proper medical attention seems to come back a lot . They often can't afford the treatment or are not treated soon enough, and die. Of course, living with the only priest on the Island who can celebrate funerals, means that I just end up seeing a lot more death than I normally would.
However, rather than being a depressing experience, all this death has only showed me how much life there is in Faith. Even if many of the people who crowd the Churches for prayer services and Mass are not necessarily practicing church goers, they all understand that there's a spiritual aspect of this person's life that is being remembered. The death, then becomes a kind of celebration.To paraphrase not just Father Doug, but many of the people on the reserve, "we don't mourn the person whose life has been ended by cancer or whatever else, but we celebrate: We celebrate that Death has taken the pain of our beloved away. We celebrate that Sickness can never win in the end, that it may triumph over the body, but NEVER over the soul. And most importantly, we celebrate the life that the person had, and the gifts that she or he have offered to the community and will continue to offer even in death...maybe, especially in death.