O Death

During the weekend, my children’s maternal grandfather died.

I broke the news to my son Sunday morning as we drove to church.

The death came at a time my soon-to-be ex-wife Alana had been reconciling and growing closer to her father by telephone. She said he’d been pleased at his daughter’s life and the lives of her children.

There was to be an introduction to the children via telephone.

“Mom said I could talk to him next time he called,” my son, 11, said.

There will be no next time.

My son is sorting this out as his mother tries to make arrangements from a distance. She works in Washington D.C.  Her father died at his home in Deweyville, Texas.

Sunday, a church elder asked me if the newly-deceased was a believer, as in John 3:16 and “that whoever believes in him (Jesus) shall not perish but have eternal life.”

We don’t know. I’d never met Alana’s father and Alana can’t say.

This morning I played “Oh Death” sung by Ralph Stanley off the “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” soundtrack and contemplated the two different eternal paths death opens the door to.

O, Death
O, Death
Won’t you spare me over ’til another year
Well what is this that I can’t see
With ice cold hands takin’ hold of me
Well I am death, none can excel
I’ll open the door to heaven or hell
Whoa, death someone would pray
Could you wait to call me another day
The children prayed, the preacher preached
Time and mercy is out of your reach
I’ll fix your feet ’til you can’t walk
I’ll lock your jaw ’til you can’t talk
I’ll close your eyes so you can’t see
This very air, come and go with me
I’m death I come to take the soul
Leave the body and leave it cold
To draw up the flesh off of the frame
Dirt and worm both have a claim
O, Death
O, Death
Won’t you spare me over ’til another year
My mother came to my bed
Placed a cold towel upon my head
My head is warm my feet are cold
Death is a-movin upon my soul
Oh, death how you’re treatin’ me
You’ve closed my eyes so I can’t see
Well you’re hurtin’ my body
You make me cold
You run my life right outta’ my soul
Oh death please consider my age
Please don’t take me at this stage
My wealth is all at your command
If you will move your icy hand
Oh the young, the rich or poor
Hunger like me you know
No wealth, no ruin, no silver no gold
Nothing satisfies me but your soul
O, death
O, death
Won’t you spare me over ’til another year
Won’t you spare me over ’til another year
Won’t you spare me over ’til another year


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