indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
James Giago Davies: There is nothing else with more finality than death

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: james giago davies, native sun news
     
   

James Giago Davies. Photo courtesy Native Sun News Today

Protected by an unimaginable eternity
The finality of death has no rival
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Columnist
nativesunnews.today

Back when my boy Griffin turned five, he reasoned out that at some future point, I was going to die. This brought him to tears, and I had to hold him and comfort him, and assure him that would not happen for a long time.

I could have been wrong, but telling him I could die that very day, although another realization he would eventually arrive at on his own, seemed excessive given the load he was already bearing up under. He was graduated from Sturgis High School last year and he is now nearing the age I was when my father died.

At this point he has lost two grandparents, an uncle and various house pets. That is probably standard. These days he doesn’t cry about me dying someday, although I am definitely closer to that day than when he was five. Our minds adjust, we find ways to better process mortality, to avoid the wall of childhood grief we slam into when we first realize death threatens every person we hold dear.

Recently his Grampa Jack died. Just a few years back Grampa Jack was surprisingly fit for a man in his late sixties. He was still working, living pretty much the way he had 20 years earlier. But once the cancer struck, the wheels came off fast, and the Grampa Jack we knew withered away within months.

I can still see his face, hear his voice, because he hasn’t yet been gone a year. My brother Jerry died in 2015, my mom died in 2013, and both are still fresh in my mind. But my dad died in 1982 and most days I cannot picture the details of his face, or hear his gruff voice.

My brother Lloyd died in 1978, when he was 15, and it takes an old photograph to jar any memory to life of who he was, the expression in his eyes, the sound of his laughter. He would have turned 55 this year, but he will always be 15, because the moment we lost him, was a final moment.

The finality of death has no rival. Not a single person we have ever known has ever returned from death. Humans have constructed elaborate afterlife scenarios where the dead live on, where all of us will live on, once we surely die. But more than the promise, the hope, these afterlives supply, there lingers the painfully poignant truth, that everything we love dies, and if they survive in some other form, in some other realm, as long as we live, they are lost to us, and we can only speculate.

I have never gotten over the death of my little brother Lloyd. But when I sit and watch my own sons play video games with their friends, the pain of his loss makes their lives that much more meaningful. To the extent I ever see him anymore, I see him in them, in some expression, some gesture, some reaction, he still shares this world with me through them, and if I lost them like I lost him, I have now reached the point where grief will not overwhelm me as it did with Lloyd. In some way I can’t explain, I have forgiven death for being death, and the dead for being dead.

Because death is so final that finality has become a comforting finality—nothing in the world that took their life can ever hurt them again. They are protected by an unimaginable eternity.


For more news and opinion, visit the Native Sun News Today website: Protected by an unimaginable eternity

(Contact James Giago Davies at skindiesel@msn.com)

Copyright permission Native Sun News


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Indigenous activists reclaim nation's capital in defiance of Trump (4/28)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe ends appeal in Dakota Access lawsuit (4/28)
Ute Tribe demands 'voice' as Trump orders review of Bears Ears (4/28)
Senate panel takes up bill to bring AMBER Alert funding to tribes (4/28)
Gun Lake Tribe prepares for grand opening of casino expansion (4/28)
Arne Vainio: We lost a fluent Ojibwe speaker in Larry Smallwood (4/28)
Native Sun News Today: Runners from Standing Rock head to Ohio (4/28)
James Giago Davies: People tell me it's better to read about pets (4/28)
Harold Monteau: Supreme Court stirs smelly pot of fish head stew (4/28)
Steven Newcomb: 'Picking Fights' book is a must-read for Natives (4/28)
Whiteclay liquor stores must close temporarily amid court battle (4/28)
Disputed leaders of Nooksack Tribe hit by Supreme Court decision (4/27)
Indigenous activists make presence known for climate march in DC (4/27)
Interior Department announces $5.7M in tribal preservation grants (4/27)
Mark Trahant: Senate candidate cites Standing Rock as 'awakening' (4/27)
Native Sun News Today: Battle over Whiteclay liquor just beginning (4/27)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Why are we still dealing with racism today? (4/27)
Albert Bender: Navajo family still waiting on justice for loved one (4/27)
Whiteclay liquor stores win surprise court ruling on liquor licenses (4/27)
Dakota Access firm faces fines for two spills of drilling fluid in Ohio (4/27)
Gathering of Nations gets ready for annual powwow in new venue (4/27)
Secretary Zinke lacks leadership team more than a month into job (4/27)
Republicans seek to avoid shutdown with temporary spending bill (4/27)
Supreme Court ruling seen as benefit to casino bus crash lawsuit (4/27)
Mashantucket Tribe charges off-duty officer for assault at casino (4/27)
Trump singles out Bears Ears as an 'abuse' of government's power (4/26)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Let's call Columbus by what he truly was (4/26)
Native Sun News Today: Lakota youth set up beekeeping business (4/26)
Cronkite News: Trump seeks to hire thousands of border officers (4/26)
Doug Pibel: New film teaches us about value of indigenous seeds (4/26)
Jenn Weddle: 'Best possible result' from court in sovereignty case (4/26)
Peter d'Errico: Oneida architect offers indigenous approach to law (4/26)
Whiteclay liquor stores aim to stay open pending fight for licenses (4/26)
Support for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe leads to recall in Alaska city (4/26)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe loses appeal in federal recognition lawsuit (4/26)
Police use tear gas & rubber bullets at indigenous protest in Brazil (4/26)
Mohegan Tribe wants gaming disputes resolved in judicial system (4/26)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.