Many news articles on the recent death of actress Doris Day at age 97 mentioned her desire that no memorial service be held or grave marker erected.
Fewer cited her background in Christian Science.
In that lack of mention, the Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina alerted GetReligion to a potential holy ghost.
A bit more on that in a moment. First, some relevant background from People, which quotes manager and close friend Bob Bashara:
In addition to saying Day didn’t “like to talk about” a prospective funeral or memorial, Bashara explains, “She didn’t like death, and she couldn’t be with her animals if they had to be put down. She had difficulty accepting death.”
“I’d say we need to provide for her dogs [after she died], and she’d say, ‘I don’t want to think about it’ and she said, ‘Well, you just take care of them,'” recalls Bashara. “She had several when her will was written, and she wanted to be sure they were taken care of. She didn’t like to talk about the dogs dying.”
An avid animal lover and animal welfare advocate, Day was brought up Catholic and was a practicing Christian Scientist after marrying producer Martin Melcher.
Day “drifted away” from organized religion after Melcher died in 1968, Bashara says, but remained “a spiritual person.”
“She believed in God, and she thought her voice was God-given,” he says. “She would say, ‘God gave me a voice, and I just used it.'”
Bashara says he remains unsure as to why Day was reticent about having a funeral, but explains, “I think it was because she was a very shy person.”
Was it because she was shy? Or did her Christian Science experience perhaps play into her view of death?