14 November 2009

On death and dying and the afterlife

I meant to write this post a couple of weeks ago, when it was closer to Samhain, but something always came up. I've started this post several times, but every time I either got distracted, or it just wasn't coming out the way I wanted it to. Oddly, though, it didn't go away. It's just been floating around in my head.

My favourite story about my infancy took place when I was was first introduced to my extended family when I was only a few days old. My Papa, who as a rule, did not like babies until they could walk and talk, told my Mom, "Give me my baby!" And he took me and held me. And from that day, much to the shock of the entire family, I was his baby. He died, I believe, a few months later. Mom always said he took to me because he knew he wouldn't have a chance later, that he knew something was going to happen to him. Even though I never knew him, I still cry thinking about him. Hell, I'm crying as I write this. I can feel his love.

As a child, when I was just an assumed Christian, because I knew nothing else existed, when I prayed to God, I would also pray to Papa. Sometimes I wouldn't even talk to God, I would just talk to Papa. I knew, with the knowledge only a child has, that Papa was in Heaven, with nothing better to do than to sit on a cloud watching his favourite grandchild and listening to her prayers.

I never dreamed that my views on the afterlife would change so drastically. I no longer believe in Heaven in the way I remember knowing it to be as a child. Heaven isn't where we go for an eternity after we die. Can you imagine how boring that would be?! Walking around on the clouds, with nothing to do?! Ew.

In the show Dead Like Me, the afterlife is personal, although you don't see what actually takes place once a person enters their afterlife: you only catch a glimpse of it. The one I remember most clearly was that of an Irishman. His afterlife was on the cliffs of (Ireland somewhere, I'm assuming) overlooking the ocean. I also remember a young girl's afterlife was an amusement park. It's an interesting concept. One can also see that concept at work in the movie (and book!) What Dreams May Come. The dead go to their own private world, while God is... out there... somewhere. They can choose to remain in their world for however long they wish, then they can return to earth and be reborn.

I find it amusing that my theology of the afterlife is based off of this show and this movie/book. But those views fit in with what I believe, what I've believed for a long time. In one of my books about Wicca/Paganism, the author states that as Witches, we are not reborn in order to learn lessons and "progress," but, rather, because we enjoy living. We enjoy life. This sentiment really speaks to me. Would eternity of no worries or stress really be that awesome? Wouldn't happily ever after become redundant?

After I die, I don't know what great adventures I will have. I don't know that I'll get to have any. But I can only hope that they offer challenges that will sustain my drive to overcome. Perhaps I will get the chance to be reborn. Perhaps the life after this will be in its own place and time, another stepping stone to where ever my soul is headed. But I sincerely hope that whatever it is, it isn't boring!

1 comment:

  1. your last paragraph is beautiful... I love it and could not agree with you more....


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