Grief, Religion, and Other Unmentionables

I had a friend that for about 7 years that I spoke to daily, and though (as geeky as this sounds) we had only known each other from playing a game together, he was a very cherished friend and a big part of my life. I posted a while back about his death, 6 months to be exact. Normally when someone I knew passed away, it was just a person that died and that was that. My husband, always remarked my terrible habit of never actually grieving. What was grief? It was just being sad that someone passed. What good would that do? Someone died, and that was that. I’m far to analytical to think any more of it than that. You go to a wake, you go to the church service, you stand around a coffin in the middle of thousands of coffins already in the ground, and then you go to some reception afterwards and eat and forget the whole thing happened. That’s what happens. Then they are put in the ground or burned to ashes, and that is what happens when you die.

I don’t think I need religion to be a good person, though some would argue that I’m not even a good person and I might actually agree with that fact. People try to console one another when someone dies: God made a choice to make an angel because they were such a good person and he needed him. First of all, who are we to assume that God is a “he” or even a “she”? We shouldn’t put a pronoun to this notion because God is an ideal first and foremost not a person. If you are religious, you would believe that God created people and how could he have created people if he was a person already? Wasn’t Adam the first person? Therefore God is not a “he” or a “she” because that applies to mammals and other creatures with gender which was also said to be created by God. Tangent on God = ended. This isn’t to discount people who have faith, I just can’t get behind things that I can’t find logical. (Don’t worry, I nail Atheists too.)

If God was so attentive to pick a loved one to be an angel to help up in Heaven, why isn’t he attentive enough to stop a toddler for being murder by some punk kid? If God was going to take an innocent child, shouldn’t it be done in a less horrific way? Fine, that’s only one child and that God can’t be everywhere at once. What about mass genocide? I’m supposed to believe that a loved one was taken from me because it was in some greater plan but genocide is some horrific act that can’t be stopped? There’s no comfort in any of that for me.

And so religious people do not feel attacked (and I hope that people don’t assume that I’m someone misguided by grief, that would assume that I went through a grieving process, I assure you that I unfortunately did not and probably would feel better if I had), I actually dislike that National Association of Atheists more not organized religion. I’m a non-believer and that’s my choice as it is yours to believe. I actually admire you for having the ability to trust in something so intangible. I don’t even mind atheists but as a principle, I have a problem with this group claiming atheism. Atheists are people who argue whether or not a God exists, not feign offense at a cross  in legal battles. Atheism, in this form, is no better than religions that place their beliefs above others. That’s not atheism and it makes you no better than those Westboro Baptists that do things for the sake of free publicity and sue people to fund their idiocy. Atheists also don’t agree with organized groups based around religion, and as a result their being a group of Atheists fighting for a cause with a leader is in itself hypocritical since if your main platform is a non-belief in religion based groups you are still a group based upon a religion. A lack of religion, sure but it still involves religion. Moral of the story: You can be a non-believer without being an asshole. If someone wants a cross up, let them fucking have it. No one tells you that you can’t put a spaghetti monster shrine up, don’t knock them down because you want to make the evening news.

My rant go out of hand, but it felt necessary as I wrote it. So why do people die? Because tragedy and illness exists. Because people need to because of overpopulation. Because sometimes your best friend has to die and you have to be okay with that and move on. 6 months has passed and somehow I still expect him to show up and give me some geeky speech about in-game lore or how I’m not a true geek because I have not seen Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. I still expect him to show up and let me throw ideas off of him for stories or vent about how something happened and it sucked. But he won’t, and we have to learn that you can wish it to happen and you can dream that they are in Heaven watching to make sure you get the house that you wanted or that job that you wanted or the you were saved from something because they were watching if that makes you feel better. And I sincerely hope it does.

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The Act of Bereavement

Once my husband did his usual psychoanalysis of me, which if you ever met me you’d know this could be a feat to figure out just one thing wrong with my mental state. In this analysis of me, he said the lines “you don’t grieve; you just try to take the strong road. Some day you’re going to have to.” That’s a loaded statement, especially for car ride talk. I considered what he said years ago and today I sit here and I’m reminded of it again.

I could argue people grieve in their own way at their own pace, that’s true. I think about it though, and I don’t remember ever going through that famous 5 stage process of grief. It’s almost like telling a brick wall someone they cared about just passed. I never analyzed myself to consider why. Do I just lack a bond with people so when I hear someone just died, I don’t react at all? That can’t be right; I have remotely normal relationships with people.

Maybe, growing up acknowledging that death existed and no one was immune from it from a young age made me less shocked about it. I could argue that maybe at some point, I became so desensitized that I miss out on the “shock factor” of hearing those words. Or to make myself feel better, maybe since most of the death I’ve experienced in life were never unexpected, that I was able to slowly prepare myself so when it happened I wouldn’t be as upset.

The real moral of the story here is people deal with tragedies in their own way, even if that way may seem incredibly screwed up to you. Doesn’t mean that they are heartless, soulless people, it just means that some people cry and some people joke around. Anyone going through the process needs their own time and hopefully are lucky enough to have people to love and support them while they grieve, even if it doesn’t seem like they’re going through the process like people think they should.