Friday, November 16, 2007

It's Not Better For Me Because It's Worse For You

Why is sadness our immediate reaction to loss?  Do we not believe there's something better awaiting those who go before us?  Yet I collapsed in deepest grief when my Mother .... my Father ....     

I cry when someone hurts and not confused by those tears, I join people in grieving when they lose a dear one, I attend funerals and wakes and I pray and cry once again.  I light candles, I make special intentions.  The rituals of humanity in the face of what we can't explain - death.  Why now?  Why in such pain?  Why them?  Why so young?  To be human - you do.  You question.  Must. 

When I ache, people say "Don't feel bad, alot have it so much worse."  You mean don't feel bad because others suffer more??  I never did, I could never get relief from my own pain knowing someone else suffered more.  Yet that's what we say to each other, and with all great and good intent, still it makes no sense.

I've been reading how many friends in JLand have lost loved ones, 2-legged and 4, how they grieve, how they reveal and express their pain.  I join them and think how hollow a thing it is for me to say "how sad" yet how can we express our true selves and feelings for them?  If it's sad, it's sad and you should cry.  Yet I believe you should also remember what a gift it was having them in your life at all.  Once you start to see daylight again, once your nights bring a bit of sleep with those tears, once you return to everyday tasks, how comforting to know life is so miraculous, and that for a short time, you had a special one close to you, a loved one, an unforgettable spark of energy existing in memory forever.   

If life is a miracle, the continuation of life must be an incredulous, incomprehensible thing.  And isn't that what "death" really is?  The continuation of life on another plane?  Yes, we cling to the comfort of our faith but all I truly see is that the body stops.  I believe I have a soul, that's my personal choice.  With no science to support me, I believe the soul can never know death, I have a personal faith in a God, as most do in some form, and call upon Him with gratitude as I ask for ease in times of loss.  My mind knows it's only flesh decaying, my intellect tells me the "personhood" that once took residence in that flesh may not be within my grasp now, but wherever it exists and in whatever condition, it does live.  I call it a soul, it may be the spirit of everything that person experienced while walking the earth, and in fact as many theologians ponder, it may be nowhere at all - oblivion.  Inspired thinkers like Sts. Thomas Acquinas, Ignatius Loyola, Theresa of Avila, and the most religious of prophets all dwelt endlessly on the idea of oblivion, of nothingness, and if that was what awaited us.  No body, no soul, perhaps the smallest speck of dust floating endlessly in a universe with no center, no edges.  It's healthy to question what we cannot prove.  Yet if true, then life would seem just a futile, fearful, painful and terribly difficult walk on a stony road to nowhere.  Time would mean nothing.   

But I believe in a soul.  A part of me is not human, I can't explain it any more than you, it's of another energy, another plane, it's - to me - my God-part.  The small speck of divinity that dwells "of" me put there by a Great Transcending Power I call God and think of as the essence of pure Love.  This soul has no death, knows no hate, judges not, fears nothing, is never confused and exists in a state of love.  I know my body will be stilled, decay, return to dust and be no more.  I believe my soul will return into the "body" of its owner and maker, God. 

Many will read this and believe it a form of "magical thinking", a way to understand and justify so many inexplicable things we live with, like the death of a beloved.  Why be so quick to believe that more than their bodies have died?  Why not consider that life is so unique, so rare and miraculous, that it must surely have a finer, fuller path to traverse after the body ceases?  I chose to.  Even if it's self-deception, I chose to.  Not because it comforts me in times of sorrow, not because I was raised that way, not because I have the slightest bit of proof that it's viable and more true than not.  I chose to believe because I can.  My will is free.



ma24179 said...

The one's who have no faith are the ones who trully suffer. You are absolutely right, those people suffer the most. Their lives are meaningless. I suffer emotionally myself but, I still have God to hold onto. Have a great day Luddie. -Missy

jeanno43 said...

Nice entry Luddie.  Great talking to you on chat but you disappeared.  I get an alert saying Cowboy had left a comment on my journal but I cannot find it.  Oh dear. Catch you again soon.

luddie343 said...

Jeanno i was booted lol cant get back

jeanno43 said...

Oh, I have no problem.  By the way I found Cowboys comment under an older entry but no journal link, just her screename @ aol.  Hope we catch her again on chat especially as she says she is new to journals, we could at least give her a couple more readers.  I have emailed her but it will probably go into her spam folder and she might not see it.

lanurseprn said...

Great entry! I love how you make us all think about things. I do believe the soul doesn't die. I think our bodies are just our vehicles through this life. We have to have one while we are that's it. Afterward, we leave it and move on.
Have a good weekend.

sybilsybil45 said...

Good entry. Wish I had the way with words like you as they are the ones that I would have used.  My sentiments exactly.  Have a lovely weekend   Love  Sybil xx

gazker said...

Good words, to make us all think. Grieving is part of a healing process designed by nature. Some grieve longer than others, but hopefully the outcome is the same where we are left with fond memories.
Gaz x

rdautumnsage said...

I've always believe there is an essence to who we are that goes on, even after death. Different religions say different things, we go to heaven, we transcend to a higher plane, we continue on in another life being born yet again. I tend to believe that our higher powers are us. It has to start with us, our beliefs, our hopes, our fears.

While going through AA that was the on going theme, to place everything in our higher power. That meant to me, whatever we believe to be looking out for us. I chose to vision myself sober, stronger, more compassionate. That is what I called my higher power the hope to transcend to something more.

Of course I talk about Creator, not in a God sense. Rather something that exist in every living thing. It doesn't miraculiously make things right. Rather gives us the tools to be able to make the choices and find the strength we need to deal with our lives. Of course this thinking always twist back around to each individual, having the ability to believe in themselves to begin with. (Hugs) Indigo

kirkbyj05 said...

Hello Cathy!
I'm sorry I haven't been around for a while.  I haven't been getting any of your alerts.  Come to think of it there have been a few other people's alerts missing too.  I shall go check them out shortly. I have enjoyed catching up on a few of your entries.  Your Halloween poems was very good and had a wonderful rhythm to it.  It had a poignant ring for me also when remembering times gone by when a child could go out trick or treat without their parents hovering in the background. Wonderful and evocative.  A splendid poem!
As for life after death?  Even though I was fed the dogma  of Catholicism, I would have still come to the conclusion that there has to be a life after our physical death.  I believe that too.  A I am reading up on Budhism from time to time now as it gives me a clearer picture of understanding life after death.
Hope to pop by and visit with you again soon.
Jeanie xxx

mutualaide said...

Well.  You've got my attention with this post.  I sometimes wonder ... can't articulate exactly what I want to say, so I'll just say that this post was great and gave some food for thought and also reminded me.  :)

barbpinion said...

I do shed tears when a loved one dies but always know that JOY will come in the morning. It always does. I've lost many loved ones, as many people have. We cry, I think, mostly for ourselves, because we will miss them so much. All those i've missed I see any time I want too, each time I take a memory walk.
Thank you for the love and support. You're a wonderful friend.

gravydogg55 said...


attitudeslc said...

There is a time to laught and a time to cry, a time to dance and a time to be still, a time to work and a time to play.  For everything there is a time and a season!  (The Bible)

God does not play dice!  ~ Albert Einstein

Quantum Physics has proved the existance of God/Goddess yet  there are still those that do not believe.

If you believe, nothing can change your mind.

If you don't believe, no proof will convince you.

Hugs! Rosemary

fisherkristina said...

Just a few thoughts.  

I whole heartedly agree with you on that we have spirits and we will go on.  That if we are following God, we will live on always.  Each of our family members will also, if they are following Him. This is the MOST comforting thing of our faith.  And something I have no doubt in.  

I would like to say, however, that when somebody dies, we must take time to grieve them, and allow others to have time to grieve.  Psychologically, we go through stages before we are able to cope with a loved ones passing on.  Often first we have grief, sadness, and many other feelings before we come to joy that they were a part of our lives.  When I said were, I mean still are.  If they are up in Heaven, they are just as much a part of your life still, as they are now, but that is a subject for another entry, LOL.

Okay, next point, LOL.  St. Teresa of Avila, and others, such as St. John of the Cross, when speaking of nothingness, nada, did not mean that they believed they were nothing but specks in the universe.  I know, because I am a third order Carmelite, and have studied their philosphy/theology.  When they spoke of nothingness, they were talking about emptying yourself out before the Lord.  Becoming more like Him.  More of Him and less of you.

The saints NEVER believed that they were specks and would cease to live.  They ALL believed in the resurrection, of both Jesus Christ, and themselves (that they would be in heaven someday, if they continued to follow the Lord).  If they wen't through periods of time when they felt like they wouldn't make it, it was not because they believed they were specks of dust.  It was just b/c they were struggling with some things that were going on within themselves.  They were working out their salvation.  

Okay, my Dear Cathy, that's my comment!

Krissy ;)

astoriasand said...

I have shed thousands of tears over loved ones I have lost and for others who have lost too,,and laughed until I have ached at the wonderful memories they have left me with..Which I know they rather me do.I have no doubt at all we will all meet again.Thankyou for paying a vist today and leaving your lovely comments.They are all so much appreciated.Take Care God Bless Kath

jmorancoyle said...

    This is a very good definition of faith.

bhbner2him said...

I believe we all have an eternal soul.  Believe it is part of us. In fact it is "us" at our deepest level.  That breath from God that made man a living soul.  Of course we grieve.  Even when we know someone is right with God and Heaven bound, we also know we won't see them here on earth again.  Even Jesus felt grief for and with others when He walked among us.  And He more than anyone knew the Hope that awaited!  -  Barbara

rockoned7 said...

Like you I believe we have a soul. its purpose is not yet clear to me but in my passing I have faith that all will be revealed as the promise that I recieved at my baptism.
Today I also grieve for a dearly beloved and wonderful woman who my grand mother brought up as her own and she is the last of a true ilk that I have lost in this lifetime.

I honesty believe that she will be met and brought into the everlasting kingdom that was hers to achieve. Her pain and suffering is no longer and my tears for her no more as she has passed on and will someday meet and welcome me into that unknown world. God willing

Thanks for a great life for her and the happiest of memories for me and thanks for sharing that to us.

valphish said...

Very thoughtful, Cathy.  I, too, chose that I live on.  I never thought it was a good thing to say to someone when they were grieving that "others have it worse".  We need to grieve to move on.  We need to grieve not having that person around.  Even if we know they are in heaven.  We need to grieve that we won't be seeing them for a long time.  Thanks for this entry, honey.  Love you, my Cateri! xox

sassydee50 said...

Dearest friend~ i agree with you 100%! there is no need to discount anyone's pain. Grief is one of the toughest things to deal with in life; it is a process that with time perhaps for some gets less painful, but when I loose someone I love that grief is always there in my heart. Well written as usual! Hugs, Deb ;-)

wwfbison said...

I agree with every word you've written.  I believe there is more after this life. I must believe otherwise I would feel the losses I've suffered were just that...lost forever.  I need to believe I will be reuinited with those I've loved and lost be they animal or human.  Wonderfully written, I enjoyed the read.

chatzeekay said...

i loved this enrety hats off to you for a wonderful entry i relate to this so true. how have you been sorry not visit much,,, thanks for supoprt, love your journal do need to read more some things sure have been diffcult,

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