Warning: depressing and potentially triggering post alert. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I used to firmly believe, without a doubt, in God, Creator a Higher Being or whatever it is you want to call it. While I’m not at all religious now, I was raised by my devoutly Catholic grandmother who instilled in me a strong sense of faith and spiritual belief. Even though I walked away from the church years ago, I still held my own beliefs about spirituality that suited me and were relevant to my Native American heritage.
Well, in this past year especially, I’m not so sure about that anymore and for the first time in my life, I question everything I have ever believed.
Without getting too long-winded about the road that has led me here, let’s just say I have watched way too many good people around me suffer from misfortune, serious illness and sudden death.
I am mostly a positive person, however all this bad news makes me consider my own mortality and the possibility that something could randomly happen to me and my family. I feel incredibly guilty and selfish for feeling this way when there are so many people around me who are really suffering. My life is a bed of roses compared to some of those who I interact with each day. I count my blessings, all the time.
No so long ago, I would have believed that everything happens for a reason, that bad luck was really fate, and there were important life lessons in hardship to be learned, and blah, blah, blah. This used to make me feel better, but right now it all just feels like platitudes – empty and hollow and only echoes my grief and confusion back to me.
Is there an afterlife, or a God, Creator or Higher Being watching over us? These are questions I contemplated a lot this past year when my beloved auntie Harriet passed away, and recently when a young woman I knew, a 29-year-old single mother of two, suddenly and mysteriously died in her sleep. My aunt’s death I could handle, but the other just seems so random and so cruel. Why why why?
But there is only silence to my pleas, and no solace. There is nothing, just unanswered questions that lead to emptiness and the only thing that fills up the space are tears.
I realize today that I will never know the why’s of any of the tragedies I witness. Nor will I ever know for sure if my Auntie Harriet or my grandmother who raised me are up “there” somewhere watching on me like guardian angels. I will never know why this young woman, who when I last spoke to her (two days before she died) was so full of life and hope, is suddenly gone. Just like that, her life is over, her hopes wiped out, leaving behind two orphaned children, same ages as my own…
….oh Lisa, Lisa, Lisa…
…so random and it scares the hell out of me.
There is nothing that explains any of this to me, comforts my grief, or soothes my fear. Comments like “It was her time…” or “she’s in a better place now…” don’t make me feel better. They make me angry and confused. Who, what and where do I turn to when the beliefs and values that once gave me comfort no longer hold true?
I don’t know what happens after death, if there is an afterlife or if there is a grand plan that will suddenly all make sense to us when our souls leave this earth. And wondering about it doesn’t make me feel any better either, it only makes my fear bigger. The only Life I know about for certain is the one I have right now. This very moment, so short and fleeting, is the only thing I have any guarantee for.