Religion and Death

Look at that header.  That’s some deep, murky stuff right there.  But they’re the two things that have been weighing heavily on my mind lately.

For the first, I found this thought-provoking link:

Reza Aslan is an incredible religious scholar to me, and I’m highly interested in picking up his book “No God but God” in the near future.  I just added it to my ever-growing list of literature I want to tackle.

And then there’s the second topic…

My grandmother passed away last month.  I haven’t written much about it.  I haven’t talked to many people about it.  I’ve kept very quiet on what I’ve been going through and how her death has affected me. 

She’s my first grandparent to die.  I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had all of my parents’ parents for over 30 years of my life.  And I have nothing but fond memories of my Grammy.  She passed away right before Thanksgiving, though, and with the emergency trip to her funeral plus the travel with the family to my mother-in-law’s house (and I have a fairly stereotypical MIL) and then, following that, the plunge into the Christmas spirit, I have felt very much like I have not had much chance to think about it, let alone grieve for her.

Then…on top of all that, I found out that an old work friend/acquaintance died suddenly over the Thanksgiving weekend.  He had a heart attack while driving.  This was a guy that made a point to take me out to lunch before I left my last office because we had gotten along really well, and he wanted to treat me and chat with me before I left.  He was so down to earth.  Plus, he left behind a teenage daughter and loving wife.  He was in good shape and was only in his 50s.  His passing floored me. 

Add to all this a general uneasy feeling I cannot seem to shake that I need to enjoy every day as if it is my last.  I need to enjoy every day on the chance that it’s one of my children’s last.  Or my husband’s.  I’m feeling extremely morbid and macabre lately in the background of my life.  I go for a walk and irrationally think about whether I’ll be gunned down, even though I live in a fairly safe neighborhood (I think).  I drive back and forth to pick up my kids, and I have to work to force away thoughts of grisly accidents. 

News doesn’t help.  The media only celebrates death and destruction for the attention and readership it can garner.

On top of all of this, I have been making some questionable literary choices.  The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) – on the plane up to my grandmother’s funeral – bad idea.  The Fault in our Stars (John Green), which I’m still working my way through.  It’s really a fracking wonder I’m not a useless human ball of tears and grief. 

I really just want to work through it all, but am not sure how.  Maybe the books I am reading are helping me in some small way.  I know writing here helps – just to get some of these thoughts out of my head.  And I’m really not a pile of tears.  I feel more like a stoic wall that is trying to understand and appreciate all that I have.  I’ve been trying hard to use the negative thoughts to be thankful for every last precious second I have to look at the beautiful faces of my children.  I’m trying to see the love in my life from the contrast with death happening around me.  But at the same time I wonder if, at some point, I might crack from unleashed grief.


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