Funerals are difficult but delivering a sermon at a murderer’s wake is excruciating. I see just five of you seated here. His mother, his three sisters and one friend who could bring himself to come. Now, I don’t mean to insult the bereaved in any way, but if I didn’t speak my mind, even if it’s for an audience of five who knew this man better than me, I might as well resign from shepherding my church and find another vocation.

What this man did was heinous. He was a teacher in a school, a man meant to educate, and facilitate intellectual and moral growth, but he broke bad and losing his grip on sanity, murdered thirteen precious young lives before taking his own. His wife has denounced him and isn’t here and that’s her prerogative, but the one person I wanted to see was his father.

When I spoke to you, I realized that he came from a troubled home and had a tortured past. His father took discipline to extremes which slowly deteriorated into both physical and verbal abuse. He never once said that he was proud of him, and rarely said that he loved him and when he did, it was in a flat, emotionless tone. His father asked him to ‘man up’ when he was severely bullied in school and disregarded every cry for solace. And now the man has the audacity to say that he took a ‘dark path’ and ‘chose’ to destroy himself. So, I’d like to address that man even though he’s not present and is busy giving interviews on news channels to purge himself of his guilt.

What you did sir, is just as heinous because you emotionally starved someone until his soul died. You’re guilty of murder too. In this age, we either don’t talk about feelings at all or we talk too much about them. But to live healthily is to feel healthily. And I don’t mean cheap thrills or ephemeral highs that drugs give you, which this man struggled with, before quitting completely, and tragically did what he did before he could celebrate his redemption. I mean a deeper, more profound connection to someone or something noble and dignified. Emotion is always two-dimensional. There is the object and the protagonist. Now this man was a protagonist when he was young. He was a young man, full of ambitions and dreams. Today, and as long as this world lives he’ll be denounced and degraded, and treated like a vile antagonist, but there was a time when he longed for something of quality and substance. If only you’d just nourished that need, my dear sir, instead of quenching it and indoctrinating him. A dogma becomes a snake in the mind which bites, poisons, and eventually devours, unless it’s given and received with love. You exasperated your child and today you aren’t even here. It’s tragic that you didn’t stop what you could have.

Having said that, I’d also like to address society. If we continue allowing our children – especially in this millennial or post-millennial age when technology which isn’t inherently bad but used abominably by men, spews all sorts of venomous ideas into their already addled heads – to emulate what we see or hear, in schools, to create cliques and enforce stereotypes at a young age because that’s how drama presents adolescence, then we’ll have to reap such consequences. There is more to life than a click-bait carousel on which digital avatars revolve. It’s a box within a box within a box. That’s how shallow and superficial we’ve become. That’s how bland and tasteless we’ve become and I’m just as guilty as everyone else. So, let’s make a change and get a hold of our broken, disjointed lives by knowing how to live in solitude, by finding simple pleasures, or by just taking a stroll in the park.

Returning to the deceased, God is merciful, but He is also just. And sadly, we’ve lost him forever if you believe in the Christian faith. He will suffer for his crimes and I can only hope it’s in the fires of an intense purgatory which enables him to finally know everlasting love.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

You’ll find more of Nitin’s work at Fighting the dying light

14 Comments Add yours

  1. tara caribou says:

    Very interesting premise and conclusion. I will need to think on this some more. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nitin says:

      Thank you so much Tara. I wrote something similar a long time ago on an old blog and decided to change it a little and make it different this time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. tara caribou says:

        I’ve been mulling it over since I read it…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nitin says:

        Let me know if you agree or disagree. I love the fact that it got you thinking.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. tara caribou says:

        Yeah, when you read something and just keep thinking it over. It’s the best. One reason why I love reading your stuff. Seriously.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Nitin says:

        I’m very humbled by your comment and I sincerely appreciate all the support you’ve shown me despite my temperamental posts or provocative ones. You always look at the best in every post and that encourages me to write more.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. tara caribou says:

        There is something about you, the way you write, that speaks deeply to me. I feel it so strongly. I am transported, transposed, morphed into a new way of viewing the world around me. Like putting on the correct prescription glasses after years of the wrong pair. Suddenly things come into focus and I think, yeah – that’s *exactly* how I feel, I was just never able to articulate it in such a tangible way. I am just so, so happy to have made your friendship. I truly feel like a better person for it. So, thank you. Honestly.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Nitin says:

        That comment truly moved me. I thought I’d wait until I could respond appropriately. You using such beautiful imagery to describe how you feel about my art just made my day. I too am so glad that we’re friends. And you’ve always looked out for me here and that’s made me realise what it is to change for the better and be more selfless and giving like you are. So I’m thanking you too. From the bottom of my heart.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Auroraboros says:

    Goodness, Nitin… This is some powerful, targeted writing here. As Tara has said, I need to ponder the conclusion, but I am quite moved either way. You have pulled back the curtain on a/the frail and toxic masculine legacy of emotional escapism, and pointed a due finger at the superficial and ultimately self-absorbed nature of this social construct we exist within. This was a great read for a dark and cloudy Sunday morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nitin says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words my friend. You’ve captured the essence of what I was trying to convey in your comment. If only we could peel off the virtual facade and realise that there’s more to life and experience, we’d save ourselves and a few others in the process. I’m glad the piece got you thinking.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. ortensia says:

    This is a powerful piece brilliantly written and hiding so much underneath that discussion about it could go on for hours.
    The end,I must say I quite like it but very true there could be many others but if you choose this one then it s perfect to me.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nitin says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Ortensia! Yes the ending is debatable, but I’m glad the piece made you think and you liked it! Sorry I need to catch up on your blog and other blogs too. Plan to do so in the coming days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ortensia says:

        No worries ,I’ve been neglecting fellow blog goers too recently….we should have days of at least 35hours don’t we?😉
        Your piece totally trapped me,genuinely ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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