The Empty Life – Guest Blog from “Roger’s Reflections”

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” – Ecclesiastes 1v2
The big names always grab the headlines – Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Heath Ledger, Janis Joplin, and Marilyn Monroe. When you read those names you know the connection immediately. Each of these young adults, who apparently had everything, died early tragic deaths. Each of them died in what were, at best, tragic circumstances. We don’t really have to say much more.
Then there are names like ‘AG.’ ‘Who is that?’ you might ask? AG was one of the thousands of ‘unknowns’ who die in the same way. It is more personal for me when it comes to AG. He was my literacy student who, on a Saturday night a few months ago, jumped into a reservoir and drowned. Life, at 18, had just become too much to bear. The benefits of death, in his mind at least, outweighed the benefits of living. There was nothing worth living for.
Though all of these people had their lives ahead of them, they either took their own lives or put themselves in such a setting that their lives were under threat. They had lives, which at least for that moment in time, seemed so empty that they were not worth living.
Solomon could identify with these folks. ‘Vanity of vanities’ he wrote, ‘all is vanity.’ Or, to make it a little clearer, ‘Emptiness of emptiness, all is emptiness.’
In this amazing little book we have a record of Solomon’s attempt to find something to fill the emptiness.

He is going to give is the answer. Stick around.

Rog  Rogers Reflections

What will they say about me on my Tombstone?

Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:
Born 1903 – Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down. It was.

In a Thurmont, Maryland cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up and no place to go.

On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102.
Only The Good Die Young.

In a London, England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid but died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767

In a Ribbesford, England cemetery:
The children of Israel wanted bread,
And the Lord sent them manna.
Clark Wallace wanted a wife,
AAnd the Devil sent him Anna.

Roman Tombstone:
Do not pass by my epitaph, traveler.
But having stopped, listen and learn, then go your way.
There is no boat in Hades, no ferryman Charon,
No caretaker Aiakos, no dog Cerberus.
All we who are dead below
Have become bones and ashes, but nothing else.
I have spoken to you honestly, go on, traveler,
Lest even while dead I seem loquacious to you.

In a Ruidoso, New Mexico cemetery:
Here lies Johnny Yeast… Pardon me for not rising.

In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania cemetery:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake.
Stepped on the gas instead of the brake.

In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:
Here lays The Kid.
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw.

A lawyer’s epitaph in England:
Sir John Strange. Here lies an honest lawyer, and that is Strange.

John Penny’s epitaph in the Wimborne, England cemetery:
Reader, if cash thou art in want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny.

In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England:
On the 22nd of June, Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune.

Anna Hopewell’s grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont:
Here lies the body of our Anna,
Done to death by a banana.
It wasn’t the fruit that laid her low,
But the skin of the thing that made her go.

On a grave from the 1880s in Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees,
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there’s only the pod.
Pease shelled out and went to God.

In a cemetery in England:
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so shall you be.
Remember this and follow me.

To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone:
To follow you I’ll not consent.
Until I know which way you went