Visiting the other world

Today, I remembered the disheartening Greek myth of how Persephone, the only daughter of the Greek gods Zeus and Demeter, became the goddess of the Underworld with Hades. In a nutshell, Hades falls in love with Persephone while watching her frolic across the the green fields of the earth, and so he decides to kidnap and take her back to the Underworld with him. Once he accomplishes this, Demeter, the goddess of grain and agriculture, becomes so distraught that she stops all growth on earth, which could potentially result in the end of all humankind. Zeus is troubled by this, so he commands Hermes to fetch Persephone back from the Underworld. In the Underworld, Persephone is distraught, refusing to eat anything. Hades coaxes her into eating a single pomegranate seed, which is actually a trick since once you eat something from the Underworld, you must remain there forever.

Rhea, the mother of Zeus, Demeter, and Hades, comes to a compromise with all parties: since Persephone has, in fact, eaten something in the Underworld, she would need to remain there for half the year, then spend the other half of the year on earth with Demeter. So, this is why there is spring, summer, autumn, and winter: during the spring and summer, Persephone roams the green fields of earth with her mother, and in the winter, she resides in the Underworld ruling with Hades. Her mother, not enjoying this one bit, stops the growth on the earth for those six months, resulting in the cold we experience during autumn and winter.

I thought about this in the context of Ed. It would be nice if for some parts of the week, I could stay on earth and live my usual life with my usual earthly people. Then other parts of the week, I could go visit Ed in heaven (I do not believe in an Underworld) in his world. We could talk, laugh, bicker, eat, and do everything else we used to do together when he was part of this world with me. Chris reminded me how this probably wouldn’t be as ideal as I’d imagine because it would be like reliving his death every time we parted. Maybe that is true. But what is also true is that I just want to see my brother again.

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