Episode -13. The Funeral
Recap: In the last episode we saw how Daisy’s mom had developed Cancer and spent the rest of her life standing for TPM’s Version of Divine healing. Unfortunately, like the rest of the TPM fanatics, she also had to die. Jesus would not be manipulated by these dogmatic stiffnecked people and their doctrines.
Scene and events
Daisy’s folks are busy informing their near and dear ones about the demise of Dorothy. Some are shocked(Non-TPM) and some are not(TPM ones). Daisy, Joseph and Dad are weeping. Their eyes are swollen and are red. The Pastor is also informed. He comes and says a prayer making people praise for the life of Daisy’s mom. Dorothy’s brother said he will be coming from the United States in 3 days for the funeral. Therefore, they will have to move the body to the morgue. The Neighbours and friends get an ambulance to take the body to the nearby morgue. The pastor prays again to keep the body safe from accidents and issues with medical contamination in the hospital premises.
The Mourning family is back from the morgue and silence has descended on the house. Many people are whispering about the death and discussions are happening among strangers in the neighbourhood. Within a few hours relatives have started pouring in. Daisy’s dad gets to know that the ones from distant lands are on their way. Daisy, Joseph and their Dad are busy attending phone calls and explaining about the death. Often they burst out in tears while speaking about their mom. The neighbours and relatives are around and they are always ready with the preparations of the funeral. Apart from 2 or 3 TPM believer boys, they don’t see any sign of TPM. The next door neighbour belonging to a different denomination has informed them that he will take care of all the meals of the family till the funeral date. These neighbours have also made arrangements for the stay of the relatives who are coming from distant places.
Daisy’s dad gets a phone call from the pastor asking him to keep the funeral on Friday as he has to attend the Pastors’ meeting. So the funeral date gets extended by another 2 days. The relatives are made to wait for the 2 extra days because the pastor has a Pastors’ meeting. The Pastor also informs Daisy’s dad that he will send a brother and sisters to conduct evening meeting daily, for the comfort of the family(like a vigil). Every evening the Worker brother and 4 sisters come for the evening meeting. Along with them many believers also drop in. Daisy and Dad are busy caring for these Servants of God with good tea and snacks. Joseph is busy attending phone calls.
At night while sleeping, Daisy wakes up constantly thinking her mother’s demise is a nightmare, desiring to see a different reality. Joseph and dad are flipping pages of their old photo albums, remembering the life of Dorothy. They could not sleep.
The next day a pandal is put on the house premises. The Pandal is decorated with black frills over the side. Daisy’s dad gets a phone call at noon from the Pastor.
Daisy’s dad (picking up the phone): Praise the Lord, Appachen. (The Pastor is actually younger than Daisy’s dad, but still, he is Appachen).
Appachen(in a crackling voice): Praise the Lord. How are you doing brother?
Daisy’s dad: We are busy with the preparations and thankfully our neighbours and relatives are helping us a lot. (He wants to convey the message that in this hour of grief, the help and comfort from TPM, whose doctrine killed Dorothy, is negligible)
Appachen: Oh Ok. How are the Children doing?
Daisy’s dad: We are very sorrowful. Daisy is giving updates to all relatives and friends. Joseph has gone with his cousin to the newspaper agency, to pay for the obituary ad. He will also be ordering for some flex boards and black flags so that people can be guided to our home.
Appachen: Oh so will you be putting flex boards with sister Dorothy’s photo? I think the centre pastor would not allow that. Moreover, I heard that you have put black frills on the pandal. Could you please remove that and replace that with white?
Daisy’s dad: Appachen, these are put up by our CSI relatives. Will they not make it an issue? I do not want to be a cause for conflict now.
Appachen: Our protocol does not allow for that. You talk to them and get that removed. Have to rush now. Bye, Praise the Lord.
Molly has taken permission from her college to be with Daisy in the hour of her grief. She is helping out Daisy and family in whatever little way she can. She also notes that helping hands are from relatives and neighbours. Few of those neighbours are Hindus. All of them have extended their helping hands. However, you cannot spot any TPM Believers or SOG around other than for the evening meetings. None of them has the empathy to even ask if they need any help. The main topic of the evening meeting sermon is that “We should not cry for the departed souls like the Gentiles“. They have really no other agenda than training the family not to cry.
In the process, the brother was mocking at people who would cry for their departed ones and even said that they are crying because their departed ones have landed in hell.
At the end of the meeting, the worker brother wants to discuss something with Daisy’s dad.
Worker Brother Titus: Brother, Pastor called me to inform you that as sister Dorothy died in divine healing, we should conduct the funeral in the Faith Home, unlike others for whom we do not take to the Faith Home.
Daisy’s Dad: I did not understand brother. Can you elaborate?
Worker Brother Titus: We would like to honour sister Dorothy. We would also arrange for the cleaning of the funeral ground, hymn sheets, supply of water and snacks for the people and meals only for your close family.
Daisy’s Dad: Oh ok. Thank you, brother.
As Brother Titus leaves, another believer brother James comes and starts a conversation with Daisy’s dad. James is a jack of all trades who can be spotted in the faith home very often. He has good connections with the local vendors.
Bro. James: Brother, I had asked the Pastor to help with arranging the funeral ground and snacks, meals, provisions etc. I know it will be a tough job for you to run after those.
Daisy’s dad: Oh Thank you, brother, so much.
Bro. James: Because Pastor is getting this done for you, please pay him handsomely.
Daisy’s dad: Oh ok. How much do you think this will cost?
Bro. James: I think, it should be around ₹35,000. So when you pay, just add ₹10,000 to it and give it for the sacrifice he is doing for your family.
Daisy’s dad: Ok Brother.
Daisy’s dad (talking to himself): Hmm…Sounds like these people have their heart trained in greed ( 2 Pet 2:14)
The Family is having dinner, brought in by the neighbour. While having dinner, Daisy’s dad gets a phone call from the Centre Pastor. The Centre Appachen called to convey his condolences and also to let him know that he will not attend the funeral as he is not keeping too well. Daisy’s dad knows that this is the usual excuse of the centre pastor who just goes for the weddings/functions/funeral of people who are wealthy. He excuses for them who are mediocre or poor. He probably got to know the financial status of the Daisy Family after discussing with the local pastor. He is more concerned about optimizing his travel efforts. He knows that his trip to the funeral is not going to earn any extra dividends.
The night before the burial service. We see the full moon in the sky. There is a sound of mourning from Daisy’s house. Dorothy’s body is laid in the front hall, in a mobile mortuary. Daisy is sitting next to the body and weeping for her mom. Her father is standing outside talking with relatives on phone. Neighbours and relatives have arrived. Vanessa and her family have arrived. We see sisters enter in to conduct funeral vigil all night. Daisy sees them and puts herself on the shoulder of Alice Akka and begins to weep louder. Joseph has covered his face under the bed sheet trying to hide the pain. Sometimes later, sisters start singing songs. The elder sister, the elder brother, Ammachi will not come today. They will stay in the faith home. When in the morning, the body will be taken to the faith home.
The day of the funeral. People are moving in and around Daisy’s house. The street is filled with cars and there is also one ambulance and a hearse. The white empty coffin box is put in a stand in the Shamiana. There were strict instructions that there should be no floral decorations for the funeral. Stickers are placed on both sides of the coffin. One one side we see the following verse is stuck
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Rev 22:4
and on another side, the following verse is stuck
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Tim 4:7
The Family is expecting the Pastor to come over and pray before they can transfer the dead body to the coffin and then take it to the Faith Home. As usual, the Pastor arrives 15 minutes late and inspects the surroundings. He sees the coffin and is not at all happy with the verse chosen to be stuck. He complains that only the people who go to Zion will see the father’s face and as Sister Dorothy had married, she will never be able to see the Father’s face. He wants the verse to be replaced. Molly is watching this clergy drama. She is getting very upset but controls herself as she knows that this is a sombre moment in the life of Daisy and family. They finally replace the verse with a new verse.
…..”Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” ….Rev 14:13
The body is placed into the coffin and is loaded on the hearse to transport to the Faith Home. The Pastor wants to talk to Daisy’s dad in private.
Appachen: Brother we have got a piece of information that medicine was injected into sister’s body while scanning. So Centre Appachen had asked us to not take the body to the Faith Home for the funeral. But I convinced him that this news is not true and some people with malice are spreading it.
Daisy’s Dad (Sounding very upset): Is this how we are expected to be treated after all this? This is an abuse and an insult to my departed wife.
The Pastor understood the gravity of the situation and suspected that this can turn nasty. He is seen comforting Daisy’s dad and is asking people to proceed to the faith home. Finally, the hearse starts moving and is accompanied by musical speakers playing the usual funeral band. A lot of cars are also following the hearse, like a procession. Other people on the road give way for the procession and respectfully looks at the hearse.
Now that the service has started in a specially put up shamiana in the faith home to address the Centre Pastor’s dictate and also cool down the tempers in the funeral camp. Its time for Eulogy and few people have already said good things about sister Dorothy. Its time for sister Lydia, the one who used to have a tussle with Dorothy to sit in the first row. Click here to read that episode.
Lydia:…..she was like my own sister. She would be concerned about me even if I missed one Sunday service. Because of the great love between us, we would always make a point to sit together in the first row. We were like twins who cohabited one womb of the same mother. I will always cherish her love and affection……..
After a few more eulogies, the Pastor gave his sermon and as usual, it is taking quite a lot of time. This is because he needs to explain the ministry of Apostles and who goes where after death. He explains how the TPM Clergy will inherit Zion and the TPM Believers( who were rarely seen in the time of grief) would reach New Jerusalem. The Other Church believers (relatives) who helped out Daisy’s family, got to understand that they would be relegated to a lower stratum of New Earth because they do not belong to TPM. Their Hindu Neighbours also came to know that they would be harshly thrust out to Hell for not being in the TPM Church. They got a message that Jesus is a partial God showing favouritism based on sects and religious affiliation.
After the Sermon, people were given the opportunity to have a last look at Dorothy’s body and the photographers were busy clicking the photos. The pastor is not very happy with the photographers but remains silent. The Pastor now announces that the body will be covered now. Hearing this Daisy and Joseph burst out in tears along with their dad and the rest of the near and dear ones. Finally, the parting kisses are given and the hearse takes the body to the cemetery for the burial.
The Family is back home and many of their relatives have left the town. Few of them including Molly is there to help them out. Different thoughts cross their minds and they are realising the fact that their loving Mom will not be there with them any more. They are yet to get out of the shock. Molly is trying to engage Daisy in general discussions, but she is too shocked to participate in it.