Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Struggling With Where

I think another reason I am struggling so much to accept the death of my Mother, is that I have no concrete beliefs about what happens to a person's soul after they die.

I would like to believe in Heaven. It would be really awesome to think my Mom is now in a place where she is not tethered to her concentrator like a dog on a leash and where her lungs are not the shrivelled useless things they were in life. I would love to know that she is with her Mother, who also passed away suddenly when Mom was much younger than I am now and had just become a new mother herself.

I have to admit, Utopia is a very alluring concept.

Unfortunately, in order to believe in a literal Heaven I also have to believe in a literal Hell. And I have to believe in God and the Bible and that whole ball of wax because I don't think Christianity is an a la carte ideal.

For reasons far too complicated and convoluted to go into right now, I just can't do that, as much as I would like to. And I would like to. I've said it before....I am deeply envious of those who have the solace of a convicted heart. I think this whole thing would be a lot easier if I just believed....something.

I believe this: She has not simply ceased to be. Her soul, her essense, her life force...whatever you want to call it...still exists somewhere. I believe it is simply too powerful and too indomitable to be snuffed out like a candle.

And yet...she is undeniably gone.

I saw her body before it was all fancied up. I had to. I hadn't seen her for nearly a year and I needed to say good-bye to my Mother; not some made up, plasticized, artificial version of my Mother. So I begged them not to do anything until I got there and could lay eyes upon her one last time.

If you've ever seen a dead body...a real dead body, not a neatly dressed corpse in a casket....then you know that it is quite obvious that what has been left behind is nothing more than cold dead flesh. It is quite clearly an empty vessel.

It horrified me because it was my Mother but not my Mother.

I stroked the same brow that used to wrinkle with consternation when I had been naughty. I held the same hand that used to feel my forehead for fevers and wrap my hair around prickly curlers. But it was utterly lifeless. It didn't squeeze back, it didn't brush away the tears that fell upon it, it didn't tremble and hum with the force of her inside it. My Mother was one of those people who filled a room with her presence, almost as if her body couldn't contain the brilliance of her spirit.

But the room in which she lay was utterly empty and still. No presence. No vibrance. No life.

So she is gone. I know that.

But where is she??? A soul as bouyant and bright as my Mother's has to be somewhere.

Here's what I would very much like to believe...

My mother has been born anew and is now just a tiny baby, suckling at her Mother's soft, warm breast. She is no longer an aging orphan with diseased lungs but a cherished infant with lungs that are pink and clean and fresh once more. And she will go on to live another amazing life and do even more amazing things.

She won't remember me, but that's okay because I remember her.

Live well Mom. I hope we meet again someday. I like to think that something in me will know you and something in you will know me.

Maybe we will even be lucky enough to love one another again.

Afterthought: What if her new Mother is her old one? What if...once we cross paths, our destinies are inextricably linked and we go on loving each other until the end of time? That means we don't lose each other, we just get seperated by time once in a while. I like that. It comforts me. And right now, I take comfort where I can.


  • At 4:21 PM, Blogger Just Words On A Page said…

    I am sobbing as I read your post today because someday I too will have to go through all of *this* with my mother and frankly to be honest I don't know if I can.

    But I did want to tell you that you can believe, have faith, acknowledge, or think about a "heaven" without having a concrete belief, in a hell. You really can.

    If you haven't - please go find through netflix, or someplace "What Dreams May Come". While it's sad, and it's a chick flick the message in there is lovely. It changed my whole perception on the whole heaven and hell thing.

    It really did.

    My love to you - Marna

  • At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Gurukar said…

    Oh sweetie. I am one who was raised in a Christian tradition yet walked away from it (for some of the same reasons you cite) to my true spiritual path - and yet, I still struggle with belief in "God", but also firmly believe there is *something* after death. The thing is, *no one knows* what, or even *if* that is. We just don't. For some inexplicable reason the universe isn't set up to allow us to *know* - we just have to *believe* what is right to us, and, at the same time, live the best lives we can.

    The concept of reincarnation runs strongly through the Sikh belief system, so I love your final thoughts about where your wonderful mom is now, and totally second that for you. Especially the idea that it doesn't really matter that she wouldn't remember you, because you're doing the remembering for both of you. Eloquently put :-)

    {{hugs}}, as always.

  • At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Gurukarm said…

    And PS silly iTouch messed me up again - the previous comment is me, Gurukarm :-)

  • At 6:43 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Marna, thank you hon for all your kind words and support. I have seen that movie, thought it's been a long time. I'm not sure I could handle watching it right now, but maybe when it's not so fresh. And I hope that you don't have to face what I've faced this week for many, many, many years.

  • At 6:44 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    Gurukarm, I knew it was you. :?)

    I'm very interested in the Sikh religion. I honestly know nothing about it, but lately I am intrigued with any belief system that espouses reincarnation. I think I might go do a little reading. And thank you too for all your kind words and support. You have no idea how much they have meant.

  • At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Natalie G. said…

    This *is* tough and will cause you to question everything you thought you knew and everything you didn't know. Take comfort in *whatever* you can reasonably believe and be gentle with yourself if you need to change it at some point down the road.

    My mother too, passed too early. I didn't get to see her for 3 years before she died (she lived in South Africa, I lived in the US). I didn't go back home when she got really sick and had to be resuscitated (long story). She seemed to get better and stronger and then died suddenly 6 months later. I didn't have the forethought to ask to see her body before they buried her (the custom in SA is closed caskets). I regret those two things deeply and probably will forever.

    If anything I believe in reincarnation. It's a self-empowering (personal responsibility) and comforting belief system and just seems to make plain old sense.

    In some strange way (because really we can never really *know*) I don't think she's reincarnated yet. I feel she's still around, doing her thing in the ethers, in a different dimension I cannot even fathom. Perhaps she will reincarnate into this life...not sure yet. Along a similar vein, I am trying to conceive and have a baby and I fantasize she will reincarnate as my child.

    Thanks for letting me ramble. I know you're blogging and it's implied that you wouldn't mind comments, but this is such a deeply private and painful time for you, I almost feel like I'm intruding. I hope I'm not and my words have provided a tiny measure of respite from your pain.

    ~ Natalie

  • At 8:13 PM, Blogger Middle Girl said…

    I saw
    this months ago and your post put it in mind again.

    I offer the link in hopes in offers some . . . thing.


  • At 8:16 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…


    One thing I have dearly missed in my months away from blogging has been the intelligent, insightful, supportive, contrary and even combative comments from my readers. It's the give and take that makes this blog thing so addicting. I do appreciate your comments and it helps to know that I'm not the only one who is struggling or has struggled to accept and to reconcile. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Sincerely.

  • At 8:19 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…


    I enjoyed reading that. And it helped. My youngest son has my mother's face. It hits me multiple times a day that she lives on in all of us in some way. Thank you.

  • At 8:24 PM, Blogger Kim said…

    I can believe in heaven without hell, and I do, I have to.

  • At 8:47 PM, Blogger Margaret said…

    What a lovely post and so true. I've seen two of my younger brothers dead and felt the same way, the essence was gone. Where? I don't know either, but I'm hoping that it's the way you describe in this post so beautifully.

  • At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Apryl's Antics said…

    You and I have touched on belief systems. I too struggle with and envy the foundation of a strong, faith-based religion. I have thought for a long time that reincarnation makes the most sense to me. I believe we go through our corporeal existence with the same souls over and over again with others coming in and out of our lives to serve a certain purpose. I try and wrap my brain around sudden deaths, bad things happening to good people, tragedies, etc. by thinking that every soul has a purpose beforehand to teach and learn. I believe we make this decision before we come here, knowing this purpose. Perhaps, there is a plan, but one that allows for the inevitability of free will. I believe we are all connected in some way, too. I think Hell can be here on Earth. I don't necessarily think that Heaven and Hell are concrete concepts. I just think you can't have an up without a down or a front without a back. Therefore, there can not be good without evil. Ultimately, though, I don't have it all figured out and I am willing to question the answers I've managed to find on my own.

    My job allows me to spend a lot of time with people who are constantly searching for the answer of what happens when we die. I have seen things with my own eyes which have both changed and confirmed my beliefs.

    I do know in my heart that your Mother is fine and maybe I've said this before, but a very dear friend of mine says, "Death only changes relationships. It doesn't end them."

  • At 11:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You don't need to believe in Hell to believe in Heaven, I agree with Kim. I don't believe in either, instead I believe that the the love you give and receive in life lives on in the minds and hearts of the people you leave behind, the stronger that love, the more energy you leave behind. I have no idea whether it's true or not, it's just my own comfort blanket. I miss my father so much it's like a pain, when I miss him most it's like I can feel him spreading warmth through my body. My sweet baby nephew who never had a chance generated so much love in his short life that I feel like he is with me even though I never got to see him alive. I hope you find some comfort to sustain you.
    I've missed your writing.

    Boliath xx

  • At 9:49 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    I like your version. That is a good afterlife. But, like Kim, I believe in Heaven without hell. I'm not a Christian and I don't have a dogma to follow. So I can believe what I want, and I believe that we are all, on a spirit level, as pure and sweet as babies, no matter what we did in this life.

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger Tania said…

    I'm just tuning in now after a bit of a blogosphere hiatus. I'm so sorry to hear about your mother and I am sorry that you're struggling so much. I have nothing useful to offer, but wanted to let you know that I'm still reading and hope you find some sort of closure soon.

  • At 3:00 PM, Blogger merinz said…

    I am so sorry to hear that you have 'lost' your mum. But she is not lost, as you say, she lives on.

    Both of my parents and one younger brother went when I was in my 20's, and my only remaining sibling, also younger than me, died five years ago.

    But they are always there with me, in my thoughts, but also in my children's faces, and in their children, the family characteristics live on. And I take comfort from it.

  • At 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believe in Heaven and I don't believe in hell and I know your pain is real. You are an amazing writer I am glad you are back as I have missed you. I only found your blog this summer and then read it in its entirety, from the very beginning. Your words make others fell what you feel and that is a gift my friend. Please continue to take care of yourself and stick around to entertain us. I am truly sorry for your loss...


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