Death And Life On Memorial Day

Memorial Day Thoughts

For Those I Have Loved

All you I have loved, who are no more

My lovely ladies and gentlemen

I love you still as I did before

And I pray we may meet again

Though I can’t know how that may be

For where in another time, another place

Or even what name or number we may have.

But whatever I have for a heart will leap

For, O my lovelies, love runs deep

And I have loved you much.

James Dillet Freeman


Twenty-Third Psalm,

For a Dad

Lord, Shepherd my Dad today

In green pastures let him lay

To still waters guide his way

Restoreth his soul, I pray.

Lead him in the path of right

Through the valley give him light

When  he’s afraid ease his fright

With Thy rod and staff lend might

Prepare a table of spoil

Annointest his head with oil

Give to him a cup that’s royal

Let goodness follow his toil

And Thy mercy cease never

May he dwell in Thy house forever.

This I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.




When I come to the end of the road,

And the sun has set for me,

I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.

Why cry for a Soul set free?

Miss me a little —but not too long,

And not with your head bowed low.

Remember the love that was once shared.

Miss me, but let me go.

This is a journey we all will make

And each to take alone

It’s all a part of the Master’s Plan

A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart

Go to the friends we know.

Bear your sorrow in good deeds.

Miss me, but let me go.

Author unknown


Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,

I am the diamond glints of snow

I am the sun on ripened grain,

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you swaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the soft starlight at night,

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there.  I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye 

Crossing The Bar

Sunset and evening star,

And one clear call for me.

And may there be no moaning of the bar,

When I put out to sea.,

Twilight and evening bell

And after that the dark,

And may there be no sadness of farewell

When I embark.

Tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place

The flood may bear me far,

I hope to see my Pilot face to face

When I have crost the bar.



Prayer of St. Francis 

For it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace:

where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is darkness, joy.

O Divine Master,

grant that I may not so much seek to be

consoled as to console;

to be loved, as to love

for it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.



(Neil Armstrong left the following poem on the Moon, saying the words cover any emotion future visitors might have.  Even death.)


Do you need me?  I am there.

Wherever you need me.  I am there.

Even if you deny me.  I am there.

Even when you feel most alone.  I am there.

Even in your fears.  I am there.

Even in your pain.  I am there.

Though you fail to find me.  I do not fail you.

Do you need me?  I am there.

James Dillet Freeman


It’s Deja vu – All Over Again

Visiting Old Friends and Places

     A friend, I’m calling Jennifer, died a few weeks ago, and though we had only known each other for a few years, in another sense we had known each other for who knows how many countless ages.

     Meeting her was one of those deja vu experiences that we all have and wonder over.   It’s seems foolish to say, but we knew  each other as soon as we met.   It was like meeting an old school friend, and our conversation, right from the start,  was as if we had last spoken only a few days before,  and with no ‘catching up’, we just began talking.

     Deja vu is a French phrase that means ‘already seen’.  It happens in many ways. There are those who, on some vacation tour, have entered an ancient building and knew it so well they could have been the Tour Guide.  And perhaps a better one, too.

     I was in a Study Group once, right here in Salt Lake, where such ideas were being explored, and a man who had traveled to most of the world business centers, told of when he was in Greece, saw the remains of an ancient stone building and there right amongst many people, he suddenly began sobbing, emotionally torn to pieces, because he knew the place.

     Long ago he had walked between those columns and he continued to cry  as he mourned at how much, so dear to him, had been destroyed by time, and, at the same time, cried that so much of what he knew so well, still remained.

     And then, getting right down to the nitty-gritty, past or present, he wondered, and asked, if the Rest Rooms today, were where they had been long ago.  They weren’t. 

     Well, that is how Jennifer and I were.  And it was not a buried memory of this life, or a movie or story, for she had been born and raised a member of another culture and on another continent,  yet, we, and it sounds so foolish to keep repeating it, but it’s just the truth.  We simply knew each other, and that was that.

     Of course, it’s easy for me to accept, for I believe in reincarnation and that everyone of us has lived many other lives, and when we have such ‘already seen’ moments, it’s because we are meeting someone, or seeing some place, we knew closely in one of those other lives.  Centuries or more ago. 

     There are experts who think these occurrences happen because our brain cells get ‘screwed’ up and make us visualize or recall some scene we’ve read about or seen in some movie.  Or, others, just as expert,  think that we have some kind of seizure that does things to our brain, making us see or think that we know the scene or person in front of us.

     Or, there are  millions, like me, who think we’ve lived many lives and that we’re meeting today, in today’s life, someone or some place, that was important to us at some other time.  And nothing to do with brain cells getting stuck or going off their track.

     We all have our own ideas, but Jennifer and I felt the same. We laughed and  it was a glorious ‘coming together’.   What did it matter where or when ???  We were here and now, and it was a good.

     I am using a different name, culture and continent for her birth, and I’ve left out many of the happenings we both shared, because she has a family that might not understand my words.  

     However, my family is long accustomed to my way of thinking and so I tell my tales openly and happily.  And they openly and happily accept and love me.  Life is good, and why Jennifer and I met again for a few short years is something neither of us could know. Nothing momentous happened, but it was good. 

     Books by the score have been written around  deja vu.  Songs , movies and TV shows all have been centered upon this ordinary, yet odd happening.  I am not alone . . . and neither was Jennifer.  Or you ? ? ?

     And I don’t think it has anything to do with wild brains cells.  Instead, it just might be that our brains are in touch with reality. And I mean, real reality.

Suicide At Seventy ?

Keats said:

“Where are the songs of Spring?” 
Oh, think not of  them,
 for Age has wondrous Music, too.”    

     When I was in my 40’s, a writer  I highly admired, Carolyn L. Heilbrun, published a book on getting old and said  that she planned to commit suicide on her 70th birthday because no one found happiness in their later years.

     I tossed the thought aside, as nothing to do with me, but it found a cozy corner in my mind, took up residence there and ever so often I’d find myself checking in to see how it was holding up.  It smiled back.

     I paid it no heed, for my life was contentedly busy with family and job, but suddenly, where I had been one of a close-knit family group of eight, in less than a year, there was only one left.  Me. 

     Five left by death! My husband, Gram, Uncle Jake, and an aunt and uncle in California; while at the same time,  jobs and marriage took my sons.  Oh, I had my job, but jobs eventually come to an end, and I knew it was time to take stock of my life.  It could never be the same as the year before, and I wondered, “What am I going to do with the coming years?”

     I was scared, because it was the first time I had ever considered such a question, for my life had always seemed to be in an orderly procession, laid out before me as if fated. And startling me more was realizing that ever since birth, I had been doing only what others told  me to do, and punished if I rebelled.  First:  parents, then one after another, church, teachers, bosses, husband, and on and on.  Oh, and the ads and commercials not only told me what to wear, but what to think and how to act.

     And angry with myself for getting into my 50’s before recognizing that my every move had been programmed by others.  Looking around, I saw everyone ‘in the same boat’, and wondered if that was why most old people seemed to lead such dismal lives.  No one, not even TV, was telling that age group what to do.

     So, so, so.  Carefully, cautiously,  I began exploring what changes to make, and decided not to let fear glue me to the old and familiar. All that was over.  I couldn’t  raise my sons again, or re-live my life with my husband, and so I went  back to Heilbrun.  Obviously she did not commit suicide at 70 and her book, The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty was great.  It’s not a self-help book, but an eye-opener of how she accepted that Last Gift. The years, if we don’t die, we all eventually reach.

     There had been nothing wrong with my past life, but I now wished I had done some things in another way.  But I also saw that no matter how much wiser(?) I had become, I couldn’t change the past, and  better start looking ahead, not back.

     All this didn’t happened over night, but slowly, and for the very first time in my life I consciously began choosing what classes to attend, which books to read, what hobbies to experiment with, no matter how ‘off the board’ they seemed.  Took me a while to come to terms with that idea, for, like it or not,  we all find it very nice to be able to blame someone else if we don’t like what happens.  Think about that.

     Heilbrun noted that our culture provides patterns for every decade in a person’s life, except how to be healthy, happy, and old.  And that left people spending their last years exactly as their parents had, which was really nothing but stay at home, watch TV and its movies, and dwindle more and more into, nothingness.  

     She told that finding  new and different things to do was a great big key.  Entirely  different.  Learn to play the piano. Learn another language.  Decide to read and study all of Shakespeare. Paint your house. But whatever you choose, do it seriously. And I thought of my friend  who learned to fly and then built his own two-seater plane to soar the skies.

     I, along with my artist friend Beverly Wheeler Mastrim decided to publish a  full-color, coffee-table book on The Sunset of the Farmer with the words mine, and the  pictures by Beverly.  It’s been a joy, finding  different ways to use old talents, and several books by me have followed, relating stories of long ago people who were the foundation of my Murray.

     People’s last years can be spent doing all the things one  wanted to, but had no time for.  To not let anyone tell us ‘no’, or discourage us, or to even  ask  “Why?”  Why?  Because we want to and in doing so, I’ve found that The Source’s greatest gift is that energy and health come to let us recognize, use, and enjoy the last years of life.  And I was over 75 before I even recalled  Heilbrun’s thoughts of suicide at 70.

 Milton said:
“Destiny gives us a happy youth or a  happy old age,
and a
 happy youth is not always the wisest choice”.

Social Security

Social Security – aka Ponzi Scheme

    On the first day we enter the Work Force, a percentage of our earnings, and not as a tax, yet is taken, matched cent-by-cent by our employer(s), and that amount is sent to Social Security Offices, in Washington DC.
     If that same amount were deposited into a bank, it wouldn’t make us millionaires, but still would be a cozy nest-egg, and the money would be ours, no matter how long, or short a time, we lived.
     The way the law now reads, is if we live until we reach that ‘retirement’ age, of 62, the money flow is reversed and a deposit, with the amount depending upon what was taken from us, over the years and sent to SS, is made each month  into our chosen bank.  And, as of now, no matter how long we continue to live, the payments keep coming, and there are those healthy people who live long after 62, and end up being real winners.
     However, if we die before reaching 62, (even 61 and eleven months), it’s just plain tough luck, for our heirs will find it wasn’t a ‘bank’ where our money was deposited.  Our heirs find that the money we’ve paid, all our working lives, isn’t ours. And yes, I know, if we have an ‘early’ death, our heirs get a $250.00  check, and if our children are under the age of 18, they too get small checks until they’re 18.  Real generous with ‘our’ money.
     That is one great big, tough rule that, willy-nilly, is set in stone.  We either live until we reach that magic age, or we lose every red cent that has been taken from our wages, month after month, year after year. Well, see the previous paragraph.
     And you can try to take your case to the Supreme Court, but others have fought this battle with negative results, so, even trying  would be a waste of  time.   Yes, we worked for the money. It was part of our Gross Pay.  It was taken from our wages.  And our boss(es) matched each cent of it, but if we die, even though only by days short of that magic date, you get just the pittance mentioned above.
     And, whisper, whisper, whisper, it’s been rumored that many a doctor has ‘helped’ someone remain alive for a few days, or (more?) in order to reach that date.
     I understand that no longer is our money deposited under our names, but into a Big Fund, and is actually what others have called the very same as a Ponzi scheme, where there must be lots of newcomers coming on board, to keep the game rolling.  And you are no longer even a name, just that nine digit SS number we now get as children.
     And if, someday the national birth rate declines and fewer people ‘pay’ in to the scheme, who knows what will happen to those who reach 62 and get a notice telling them that there just isn’t any money left in the coffers. Ponzi schemes have failed many a time. And, to put off such a threat, Washington has lifted the retirment age up to 66 to delay payments to us. 
     It’s what I call a dirty trick. and if a regular bank tried to operate by the same rules, they would soon be ‘out of business’ and someone in jail for trying.

     We have no other choice but to trust the government, but the more I learn about what ‘they’ do with our money, the more cynical I become.  LBJ had the power and had gone a long way to elliminate the ‘bugs’ out of SS, but he lost his/our chance when he became too power hungry and forgot all else but Vietnam, got us into that war, and we were left worse off, in so many ways, than before he came into office with his grand promises. No wonder he chose not to run again, for he knew exactly what he had lost, and the horror he got us into.
     The way it is now, is that we donate a certain  amount of money to the government, (and, several times they have  raised that amount) from each paycheck, and, at times, they also have used it in other ways.  And don’t try to get an explanation as to when, and by what magic, OUR  money became  THEIR money, but that’s how it is. Only it took us/me a long time to figure that out.
     Like all money we pay in taxes, (only this isn’t a tax, remember) once Washington gets their hands on it, we’ve lost  all control of its use.  Just ask your Congressman, or Hatch,  your Senator, the date when it stopped  being Our money. and why you can’t get even a percentage back, no matter if you don’t live quite to your 62nd birth date.  Worth a try.  At least you’d make them squirm, if they even bother to reply.  But I bet they won’t.