INT: A FUNERAL HOME
Patrick is the funeral director at the funeral home that he owns.
They say that time is the great equalizer, but time is really aggressively unequal, is it not? You look at redwoods and tortoises and even crocodiles that were indifferent to humanity during the Civil War and you see how they continue their endless, marching crusade of general ambivalence even now. Time shines its light a bit more cruelly on humanity. We start to show our wear and tear early. We strive to preserve freshness and-barring that-we cling to the people and things that we believe give life meaning.
I have watched so many families come through these doors. I have washed and dressed so many bodies. None of these people expect to end up here, not really. It's a fear, but not a belief. There is no faith in death, although that may be the one thing you can have absolute faith in.
I believe that the major religions understand this. I am a Christian, myself. It does not escape me that the finality of death that I see at my job every day is heavily juxtaposed by the idea of resurrection. The verse I always come back to, though, is from the Book of Matthew: "Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father."
What a marvelous take on death, is it not? Time is not kind to birds, who are given a few years on Earth and then die without anyone taking account of their accomplishments or the meaning of their lives. God does not keep them from dying, nor does he tally up their actions, good or bad; he simply watches them fall, and takes note.
I speak of the kindness of time, but that is merely more of the same human wishful thinking. Time, like the redwood, is indifferent to us and in that, I suppose, it does indeed make all of us equal.