I have been keeping up with this first season of “Dollhouse” by Joss Whedon and if you have the time, take a look at the episode, “Haunted.” Even if you don’t watch the show, this episode stands alone. It is about a woman who, through wonderous advances in science-fiction, has the ability to transfer her identity and thoughts into the body of another person.
The episode centers around a very wealthy and powerful woman who is murdered and brought back in the body of the beautiful Elisha Dushku. She attends her own funeral in the guise of a friend whom the family has never met.
Initially everything goes well, there are a lot of people and they are saying great things about her. She sits toward the back and watches the line of mourners funnel past the open casket.
The twist comes during the wake when she has the opportunity to hear what her children really think of her. Her children go on about how cold and distant she was and how she was never really a caring mother. Her daughter talks about how her mother never really encouraged her in her love of photography, dismissing it as just a bunch of nonsense. Her son talks about how hard he was pushed into things he didn’t care about because she wanted him to be successful.
The resurrected mom attempts to defend herself, but they insist that she never really knew who their mother really was…To attend your own funeral and to find out that those closest to you have a view of who you were that is totally different than your own. What a painful realization that must be and if we are honest with ourselves, we all live in the midst of incredible self-delusion. I know I do.
The idea of going to our own funeral and hearing all the bad stuff people really think about us once we are gone is absolutely terrifying. Just think of all of the bad things you have done and the ways you have mistreated those around you, especially those you love most. There is a long list of offense in our lives. This is a crushing reality. This is why forgiveness is so powerful. Our failings have been taken up and destroyed in the cross. The reality of forgiveness and the promise of the resurrection offered through the grace of God on account of Jesus is of ultimate comfort because it means that we are forgiven, clean…free. Death no longer has a hold of us and our failings no longer plague us or follow us.
No matter what terrible words are uttered at our funeral they will be drown out by the overwhelming love and affection of our God. The words “Well Done!” will obliterate all other sentiment. Our failure will disappear in the righteousness of Jesus given to us and we will no longer be able to hold onto the lie that we are worthless and miserable because we will be declared good and holy, children of God.