The “Walking Dead”

LPTitleThey are the ones breathing and moving about but their breath is old oxygen and their movements are circular.

Their appearance to us seems normal or expected but inside them only lives the regrets, remorse or rehashed failures or losses.  A simple word from us about the future lowers their heads and droops their shoulders as they submit to our comment knowing it does not apply to them.

Consuming used air keeps them going while their daily motions look to be similar to ours.  Their behavior exhibited whether at work or home can have numerous aberrations – stern without compromise, compliant with no self regard, passively acting behind aggressive actions, sluggishly pleasant – the mingling of opposites they can display is countless.

The image we all have of an 80 year old plagued by the worst of her past is crystallized in their lives.  Words of “hope, forgiveness or peace” are as lost to them as the Christmas cards we throw away without reading because we already know the sentiment they contain.  If those three words escape these mournful walkers suppose what the words “bliss or joy” would do to their beating but lifeless hearts?

If their future is considered it has already been decided, judged and weighed down heavily by their past.  Tomorrow is truly a repeat of yesterday that is dreadfully endured today.  For them, life’s balanced division of three segments is summarized and controlled by one.

Meaning-well-do-gooders attempt their imposition of good upon those anguishing.  The sorrowful walkers may perform the asked for motions but inside are laughing at its futility.  “Less” is the added letters to words like hope or joy.  The hole in which they daily circle leads back to the place where they began; without resolution, understanding or a simple yielding.

What easily moves us from bed to work and back to a restful sleeps not only escapes but scares the misery walkers.

A happy ending to my sad description would only make me one of those do-gooders.  I don’t judge the sad walkers but are joyful (and hopeful) that I can write about them without being in their circular, lifeless hole.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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