Tuesday, May 23, 2017

April 2013 Message from the Guildmaster

April 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

This Message was originally posted on the 8th of April. There was a small issue that necessitated this reposting.
Thanks, Rick Sheets (webmaster).

Greetings:

Spring is in the air. I don’t know about your part of the country, but in central Virginia the buds are popping, the grass is getting greener, and early flowers are starting to bloom. It is a time of rebirth, and growth, moving forward into maturity with the coming of summer. Fall will bring the dry browns, reds, golds, oranges and other colors. Winter will replace everything with its starkness.

As humans, we watch each year pass with growing awareness of our own birth, growth, maturity, and withering. How many of us long for the years when we could run as fast as we wanted, hike up mountains with little trouble, or work outside for hours on end with no ill results? When we were young, we felt invincible, time would never catch up with us, we had the world by its tail, and nothing could stop us. I believe many younger folks feel this and believe it will never change.

In middle age, one begins to see that things are perhaps not as rosy as we might have thought some years earlier. Aches and pains emerge that we could never imagine in previous years. Other health problems may surface that we have no control over. We can only hope that time will be good to us and that we will be able to accomplish some of the things that we dream of. The famous songwriter, Leonard Cohen perhaps said it best, “I ache in the places where I used to play.“ The inevitable is something we cannot change.

In older times, the death of a loved one was not treated the same as it is today. First, many people passed away at home. They were not put in hospitals or nursing homes, cared for by underpaid, overworked, and sometimes incompetent employees. In other times, family members would have taken care of the elderly and ill. They may have lacked the technological capabilities of our modern medical system, but I think they more than made up for it in compassion and understanding.

In modern times, following a loved one’s passing, we are bombarded with marketing schemes that truly astound me. First there is the “choice” of funeral homes and the services they offer. One must endure the explanation of the various “packages” that are offered including digital photo presentations at the funeral. The choices are overwhelming and have to be made during a very stressful and emotional time.

I believe the older customs had much to recommend them. The deceased was washed and dressed, often by family members, and laid out at home. Other family members and friends would come to call, bringing with them the best they could offer. Food, drink, and much conversation was the rule of the day. Whether the passing was untimely or expected, the same compassion and personal attention was expressed by all in attendance. Following the appropriate amount of time, a funeral was held, either in a church, or at a graveside, and the loved one was put to rest.

Our society has changed a great deal since the time of our forefathers. With modern laws and regulations, it has become difficult for folks to even die in a dignified manner. The failings of our healthcare system and the greed surrounding those who pass away from us are truly an example of a culture that has run completely amuck. I wish it was different, but I see no end to the degradation that we all experience.

 

Thank you,

 

Jeff Bibb

Guildmaster

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