All Will be Well, or Will it?

I was wondering about the phrase “all will be well”. It is the simple reassurance that is the theme of an idea of a priest, Julian of Norwich, more than half a millennium ago. This phrase is repeated in a poem often read at funeral services. That poem was written by another priest, and there are many variations on the comfort that the phrase tries to bring. “All will be well” appears in many hymns and songs and they all variations on the theme.

I do not take comfort in that optimism. The most comforting thoughts of death have been promulgated by writers who were deeply flawed. Dylan Thomas told us not to go gently into that good night. William Cory Johnson wrote of bitter news and bitter tears. Both men had their flaws that left, when writing of death, a hope that people die but what they write is not taken by death even though their words may not have forked lightning.

I do not know if all will be well; I hope that it will be put on the record of humanity so far, my hope is drowned by doubts.

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