I have been hemming and hawing about a similar post for close to two weeks now. Yesterday I received a phone call that has had me thinking further and I have finally decided that I needed to write this.
Let me start off with the call. Upon answering the phone, an obviously angry person asked me who it was that was in charge of obituaries. He never gave his name nor did he offer any information about himself but he certainly had a lot to say. "How was it possible that we, the funeral home that had buried three members of his family was making this person look as if he were a hero". "If we didn't do something about this, we could count on the fact that we would never see another family member of his be buried here let alone step through our doors". He claimed to be a christian man and said the things that were done were definitely not christian. He went on to tell me that the minister who officiated the funeral, was once his dear friend but now that friendship was over because of this. He had just seen a newspaper from last week and in it was an obituary of a man that we had just buried; an obituary and photo supplied to us by his family. The man in mention was a young man in his early twenties who according to hearsay was responsible for a heinous crime. There is no doubt that the crime which involved the rape of a slightly older woman than he, the rape of her toddling child and the murder of them both occurred; this I know because we buried them as well. He was found in the same room with them with a deadly bullet wound to his right temple.
The local community is saying that this man raped them, murdered them and then turned the gun on himself; I was not there and the three of them told me nothing but that they had been shot, I am not a forensic. The press to this date has never said that he in fact was the person who committed the crime; all I've read is that he was found with them. As I said, this I knew.
He was an ex-marine who had served three tours of duty in Iraq and his family couldn't help but feel that he was a patriot. His obituary was that of a veteran complete with a photo of him in his dress uniform; which he was buried in. There was a friendship between the parents of the man and woman and no mention was ever outwardly made that he in fact shot them or committed suicide. His family kept saying that they knew who was responsible for this and that they were going to take care of him no matter what the law did. Her family was very quiet about the whole thing and never once blamed the man for any of it and I'm sure that they know just what the police have said. Even the military who initially refused to honor him with a military funeral changed their minds due to an ongoing investigation.
I cannot judge anyone for what they may or may not have done. It's entirely possible that he did what everyone is saying and even if he had, and I knew it, I would have still done exactly what I did. First of all, I'm here to take care of the families that come to me for assistance in taking care of their dead. My entire purpose is to assist these people through this ordeal. Everything that I do is to help heal the people that are still living, not to try to revive the dead or to determine who it is that deserves what. As far as his being a christian, what ever happened to forgiveness? If this man did in fact do this he was obviously not in his right mind.
I've come to the conclusion that this man who called, who I was tempted to tell off by the way, was he himself suffering from some sort of pain and this obituary only exacerbated it. I hope that he can eventually come to terms with whatever it is that has him feeling this way whether he ever uses us again or not.