Tuesday, July 16, 2013

the unfluffy subject of death and losing my religion.



Photos of floral eye candy from our yard.

I do like to keep things light and fluffy and positive on the blog, but I have a feeling this post might get a little bit deep. Most people share their experiences of finding God, being reborn. My experience is the opposite, but I'm okay with that.

Last night, McKenna crawled into my bed in tears. She's a cuddly eleven-year old who loves to sneak into my bed when Husband is out of town, so her arrival was expected, but the tears were not. She was having a hard time getting to sleep and couldn't stop thinking about death, which can be a very scary thing for anyone to think about, especially a young girl. She wanted answers.  She wanted to know that even in death she could take her memories with her. She doesn't ever want to forget those she loves and she wants to be remembered, of course. She's not alone and I told her I feel the same way.  I don't have all of the answers. I wish I did.  I choose to look at death as a mysterious secret that when I die, I get to know the answer. And while I am here, I live life to the fullest because we just don't know for sure.

Once upon a time, I was religious. Or I tried my very hardest to be. I went to church. I went to youth group.  I went on mission trips.  I chose to be baptized when I was sixteen. I prayed and prayed and waited to hear from God, but I just couldn't hear him. My best friend grew up going to church with me and she could hear God all of the time. We were baptized together and she felt his presence, while I just felt dripping wet. Why not me? Maybe I wasn't listening hard enough, I thought. Is He even there? Why can I only hear my own thoughts? 
Over my adult years, I have given up my faith, little by little. When my youth pastor told us that dinosaurs weren't real, I really began to question my relationship with the church. Of course dinosaurs are real. Then, years later, when I heard a sermon against gay marriage, I wanted to scream and run. I remember looking around the room, wondering who these people were, sitting in the pews listening and maybe feeling inadequate or unloved because they were gay. I felt their pain and I couldn't go back again. And once I went back to school and started taking Philosophy and Science and World Religion, any hope for remaining religious was gone. As my old pastor would say, I've become too worldly.  Whatever I am, I feel great. I'm a good person. I do the right thing.  I have the utmost respect for religious persons. I admire their ability to take a "leap of faith." Genetically, I guess I'm just missing the link that allows me to do the same.  In the case of my children, it would be so much easier to be able to promise them an eternal afterlife in Heaven. Boy, does that offer at least a glimpse of hope when it comes to the subject of death. What does an Agnostic mother tell her children about death anyway?  It's that not knowing that it the scary part, but that's all I have. I cannot say for sure what happens to us.

But my darling children {and husband too},
It is certain we will all die when it is our time.  Some are taken too early and it makes us sad.  It makes us scared.  I do love the Christian notion of our souls leaving our bodies and moving on and that would be so awesome if it's true.  And if you want to believe that's true, I will support you.  I encourage you to do your own thinking and deciding.  Do know this; I will never ever stop loving you, even when I am no longer with you.  You will always be a part of me and I will hold onto you for as long as I am allowed and if I'm not allowed anymore, I will break the rules and remember you anyway.  You know how stubborn I can be.  Please don't be scared or dwell too much on the things we cannot control in this world.  Live your life. Be happy. Find purpose. Be kind. Do what you love. Love who you love. Make everyday count. Do good things for the sake of doing good things, not for the big reward in the end.
I love you always.

4 comments:

  1. That was beautiful! I am a Christian and I totally believe in dinasours! And science! My mom is a science teacher...I'm sorry but your church that you used to attened sounds really weird!

    I don't know that hearing God is the same as talking out loud or getting a clear picture. All I feel is a desire right now to learn more about God. I'm no where near perfect and I've felt a lot of the same feelings you have. I want to learn more.

    As a Christian I have bisexual friends and Mormon friends and Hindu friends...who all live different lifestyles. I live my own and let that speak for itself. :)

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    1. Thank you, Carolynn. I have been hesitating when it comes to putting my own religious views on the internet, but when my kids look back through this blog, they can be reminded that their mom doesn't always know all of the answers, but that's okay. And that I'll always love them. :)

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  2. I love this post, Misty! I was raised with religion and accepted it with open arms until I started noticing too many things that didn't sit well with me. I love what you said here: "Live your life. Be happy. Find purpose. Be kind. Do what you love. Love who you love. Make everyday count. Do good things for the sake of doing good things, not for the big reward in the end." Because sn't that really what it's all about? Being kind, doing good, sharing love...when people believe that and act accordingly, it is the most beautiful thing.

    Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Abbie. I think that no matter what anyone believes, we've just got to do good things. I might not have a specific religion to offer my children, but good morals are so important. :)

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