Former Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr died in Salt Lake City last Tuesday, 8 March 2011. Starr waged a difficult battle against drug addiction for many years. So, Them Bones off Alice in Chains' album Dirt is the first Friday traditio of this Lent.
Spencer Roddan, Starr's friend, with whom he was living in SLC at the time of his death, said that he preferred to remember his friend "as a fun-loving jokester who loved eating gyros at local fast-food chain 'Mad Greek.'"
Here's the part that gets me: "The night before he died, he said to Roddan, 'Spencer, I love you.'"
"He was messed up and I didn’t know what to do," said another of Mike's friends, referring to a conversation that same night, "I gave him a hug and said I loved him."
Dust rise right on over my time
Empty fossil of the new scene
I feel so alone, gonna end up a
Big hole pile a them bones
Last night I had dream about the last time I saw my Dad alive. It was exactly how I remembered it: I was looking at him and he was looking up at me. I kissed him on his forehead and, with tears, I said "Dad, I love you." He took my hand, held it tightly, and said "I love you so much." I told him I needed to leave, but that I didn't want to. He gently said "Go." I told him I was worried that wouldn't be there when I returned.
Memento mori, indeed!
In either case, love is stronger than death, which is what keeps death from turning us into a pile of them bones. In Psalm 51, which recite each Friday at the beginning of Morning Prayer, we say, "Make me hear rejoicing and gladness, that the bones you have crushed may revive. From my sins turn away your face and blot out all my guilt."
Of course, this morning we pray for those affected by the tsunami in northeastern Japan, caused by a 8.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of that island country.
Jesus, I trust in you.