Death and Faith

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November 8, 2015 by bck1402

Sometimes, my headspace is just not in the right frame.


There are times when I think I should write about a particular topic and then, the moment passes and the topic slips from the mind into the sea of consciousness. Like driftwood on an ocean’s surface, it washes up once in a while and gets taken aways with the waves again. Then it takes root in the sands, standing out and begging for attention.

Early last month, I had to take a trip southwards to Singapore for my uncle’s funeral. This was my father’s eldest brother, the last of his siblings. It occurred to me that I had never attended the funeral services of any of my uncles before, not even my dad’s.

When I was finishing up my degree course overseas, my dad was admitted to the hospital. He had been undergoing kidney dialysis for a couple of years by then and things had taken a turn for the worse. This was still a few weeks from my finals, so I left school and returned home. it was a week of back and forth to the hospital for as much as I can remember, this was almost 20 years ago now. He was in the ICU by then and unresponsive, and my mom and siblings felt I should return to finish my course. One week or thereabouts. Less than ten days for sure, and I was back on a plane to New Zealand. I touched downing Auckland, called my foster mom to let her know I had arrived safely only to be informed that my dad had passed away. I was to head back to school, never mind about travelling all the way back.

When I checked my watch to adjust the time, it occurred to me it had stopped a few hours before. My dad had bought me that watch, and it had stopped on the day he passed on. I never wore it again. I passed the hours waiting for my connecting flight to Wellington sitting outside the airport in the cold air, and the tears just flowed then. So, never made it for his funeral.

In the years since, there have only been one or two funerals I’ve attended, my maternal grandma’s was the last major one where family is concerned. Until this one. Emotionally, I honestly had nothing. I barely knew my uncle, having met him – to my memory – only twice, briefly. Still went to pay my respects and as the services continued on, I ruminated a little on the concept of death and how faith plays a part in the process of saying good-bye.

Was this something I wanted to write about?

Because the idea popped in my head and kept coming and going over the last few weeks. It felt like it would be in bad taste because, for one, I’m not big on the faith part. Nothing that was said during the services made me feel anything in particular.

No disrespect to those who believe.

I just don’t subscribe to religion.

My feeling is that all life is energy, and when a person or being passes on, that energy disperses. It leaves the shell and moves on. Energy never fades, it transforms and takes other forms. It can disperse and leave traces all around, even in those closest to the source, or the person. So we sense the energy, we feel that person and what little bit of residual energy is shared or retained becomes the memory. changed and transformed again when we pass it on to others to have a sense of a being gone but remembered. That energy can imbue other beings or even things in the end.

So for me, there’s no heaven or hell, no grand mansion where your loved one will wait for you to rejoin them. And all the preaching that goes on, to me, feels like some kind of sales pitch to get into something that may or may not be there to invest in. But that is what all religion bank on- faith.

Throughout the services, I stayed to the back by myself. I dutifully listened and said nothing. Almost no one paid any attention to me either until almost the end on the last day when my cousin’s wife asked who I was. I simply mentioned my name and relation, and that was it. No one else really asked anything, probably referring to my mother or brother, who was much closer to my uncle and his family than I was. Can I say it was not something that bothered me one bit, even as I’m writing all this out?

Probably from a theological standpoint, I remain the black sheep. What I believe in is not what my mother or siblings would believe in, or the rest of my extended family of uncles, aunts or even cousins. What I pursue is not what any of them would bother with. Where my interest lie is not something that would drive them or their passions.

I don’t begrudge them their faith where this is concerned. Perhaps religion helps them – and many others – to make sense of life and death. That there is something better to come once life on Earth is done. That there has to be a reason for all the hardships in life, and it is the will of their supreme being. Perhaps.

… and I’m kinda evading naming any one religion here, aren’t I?
… and I’m not going too in-depth in what I believe either, am I?

In most forms, when asked to fill in a religion, I usually put in “Deist” while I have been told that my viewpoints would be more “Spiritualist” or “Heretical” or at worst “Deviant”. That’s really up to others to decide, in as much as they want to keep telling me that my beliefs are so wrong.

Well, perhaps.

What I choose to believe in is based on my own research, my own observations of religions, what little history behind all of them that I’ve dug up, and drawn to my own conclusions and how I perceive the way life, the world, the universe, and beyond… how it all works. Simply an idea in my head. Just maybe God himself put it there and allowed me to choose my path. And if I believe that, have faith in that, then it would be so wrong to say that what others believe in is false. No religion to me is right or wrong, it’s just right for that person who believes in it, has faith in it and chooses to live their life in that way.

And only beyond Death will we ever know who is right and who is wrong.

’till then, keep faith and peace in your heart.


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