Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Archive for the tag “strange deaths”

Weird words: closure

I first learnt the meaning of the word “closure” as a student, in the context of student debates. When something was being discussed in a formal meeting, and a lot of people were repeating a lot of similar points, someone would say “I move closure”, and the chairman/speaker could put it to an immediate vote. If it was passed the chairman asked all those who wished to speak to raise their hands, and made a not of their names, and then no one else was allowed to speak. Closure meant that debate was closed.

More recently a new meaning has appeared.

When someone dies unexpectedly, and in an newsworthy manner, journalists ask how their family or friends how they feel, and they usually say, “We just want closure.”

This is duly reported by the media, and everyone seems to be satisfied.

If the bodies of those who were disappeared by the police during the apartheid era are recovered and reburied, journalists ask their family and friends how they feel, and they say “Now we have closure.”

This, too, is duly reported by the media, and everyone is satisfied.

I was never quite sure what this closure was, but clearly it was something people had or did not have when someone else had died.

Now here’s a new datum, which sets the cat among the pigeons: By Reader Request: Closure | Clarissa’s Blog: A reader asked the following question:

Is closure an American phenomenon? Do other cultures just say “piss off” and go on their merry ways?

And Blogger Clarissa replies that “closure” is indeed an American phenomenon, and is unknown in Russian or Ukrainian culture.

That leaves me wondering whether Ukrainian funerals are seen as an opportunity to tell the “dear departed” to “piss off”?

Death in the neigbourhood

When I was in Greece in 1998 and 2000 I noticed lots of roadside shrines marking places where people had been killed in motor accidents, and they were beginning to make their appearance in Albania as well. They have also been becoming more common in South Africa, especially at busy intersections, dangerous bends and blind rises and so on.

But yesterday one appeared in our quiet suburban neighbourhood, and made me wonder who or what had died, and in what circumstances.

You see, we live in a quiet cul-de-sac with no through traffic. There’s only one road in and out of the neighbourhood, and a couple of months ago the city council put in a mini-traffic circle and a few speed bumps to make doubly sure that people didn’t drive around like maniacs.

And then yesterday we noticed this:

It’s about 10 metres from one of the new speed bumps, so it couldn’t have been a vehicle travelling at high speed that crashed into the tree, and anyway, the tree seemed to be unscathed, though the vegetation around it seemed pretty well trampled.

The name on the cross was “Kat”, which could be a nickname for a person, or literally a cat. Was a pet cat run over here? Possibly. Cats do sometimes dash across the road unpredictably , and even a slow-moving vehicle might not be able to stop in time. But if that is what happened, why the trampled vegetation behind the tree?

The date on it was 25 December 2010, and we went out to church on Christmas eve and again on Christmas morning, and noticed nothing untoward, either going or returning.

So the mystery remains, and someone is sad and missing Kat, whoever or whatever Kat may have been.

Update 2 October 2012

More than a year later, the shrine is still being maintained. Someone is putting fresh flowers there, and there was a photo indicating that “Kat” was an adult male human being.

 

Body of ‘balloon priest’ found

Body of ‘balloon priest’ found | The Australian: “THE body a Brazilian priest who floated off tied to 1000 giant party balloons has been recovered about 100 km off the Brazilian coast, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reports .
Father Adelir de Carli went missing in April while attempting to fly with theparty balloons tied to a chair.

The body was recovered by a tugboat crew off Rio de Janeiro state, DPA reports .

Police said clothing, a rucksack and shoes left little doubt that the body was that of the priest but DNA tests would be conducted to provide final proof.”

Post Navigation