Joyce lived on her own. She’d pretty much given her life caring for her aging Mum. When Mum died, Joyce lived on her own. Each Sunday, her friends from the local church would come and collect her to take her to a service. Her neighbours avoided her. Joyce lived on her own.
Joyce died on her own. One Sunday, her friends from the local church came to collect her to take her to a service and there was no answer. Her friends from the local church called around the hospitals. The strain of life had given Joyce some mental health problems and it wasn’t unusual for her to need to go away for a week or two. But the hospitals didn’t know. Her friends from the local church called the police. They came and opened the door to Joyce’s lonely house and found her in her bed. The coroner said that she had stopped breathing. Her heart wasn’t in it. He said it was good that her friends from the local church noticed. Joyce died on her own.
When you’re poor and you die on your own, you become less important than you were in life. The local authority had to wait “for a convenient slot” for Joyce to be buried. There was no money in this departure. It was a little inconvenient. Nobody wanted to know. Her friends from the local church felt that this wasn’t right. So they told the local authority so. It didn’t make a lot of difference. They offered to pay for the funeral. The money was declined. But slowly, because they were a nuisance, things began to change. Finally six weeks after her death, Joyce was allowed to be buried. Joyce was not buried unnoticed. Her friends from the local church saw to that.
Some tell me that religion divides and cause war. I think they’re right. But a true faith in God and the proper understanding of the nature and worth of humanity – now that can be something else. It brings dignity and respect in a society that fast seems to be losing those things.