My dear friend Debra Edwards wrote this very touching post on her personal blog recently which I would like to share with you because she vocalises so eloquently & emotively what it feels like to finally come to realise the reality of our existence on this planet as part of the human family, without the need to believe in an afterlife or even a god.
IMAGINE THERE’S NO HEAVEN
Posted on October 3, 2012
by Debra Edwards
There is no God.
There – I’ve said it.
Raised as a Catholic, then converted to Mormonism at 15 I never ever questioned if there was a God – ever. So why the change?
I don’t really know! I always thought and believed I had the answers to life trials and suffering – it was Gods will, mans free agency, people will be judged and are blessed accordingly. Sounded logical to me… and comforting . Yes – comforting to me in my now white middle class, highly educated living in a modern developed town in my comfortable peaceful part of the western world.
I used to think that those who do not believe in God are not really happy. Their life is centered on the worldly things and what must they feel when someone close to them dies? They must experience unsurmountable grief and loss if they do not believe in the afterlife. How sad I felt for them. How could you go through life not having a purpose or a relationship with the saviour? how empty life must really be for them….
When Martin & I began to seriously question the history and teachings of the Church we had loved and gave our all to, our mind was opened to new ideas or ideas we had heard of, but had never dared to consider….
It was actually easy to realise that the Church was not true – compared to then, after a few weeks, beginning to question if there really is a God.
The day I dared to seriously question the existence of God was the day after Martin died -at the moment of his death I knew there was no afterlife – I just knew …& it felt ok. And you know what? I feel at peace! I feel at peace knowing there isn’t a life after death. There is no lingering sense of longing, no desperate reaching out and waiting, waiting, waiting….but a sense of acceptance. The loss is there of course the grief is still painful – so painful – but I feel that I can move on freely with Martin’s memories, his ideas, values and his voice and the memory of his love surrounding me in my daily being.
Then when I arrived home later that evening – I was so upset to hear of 30 odd children in Syria who had had their throats cut . How could a God allow this to happen? Why is my life so comfortable when there are horrible horrible atrocities happening in the world. Why is my life free from hunger , starvation and disease? Why am I so different. Does God love one race above another? a country above another one? No – because there is no God. it is man’s inhumanity to man. the nature of man the chance we have, the way our social conditons drive us.
I now have a greater love for mankind! I feel more connected not above anyone or responsible even.. just connected.
My values have not changed – why should they?! I have my values to benefit mankind especially my family. Not to gain a place in a heaven or earn blessings on this earth. I have a greater appreciation for this world – its beauty – its evolving beauty.
Part of me I admit still feels on shaky ground, I feel certain in my now understanding -but feel shocked almost that my life has come to this crossroads.. during my unexpected journey. I almost feel that I have to learn about life all over again! And what a life!!
So it’s ok to say there is no God, really… there isn’t.
Steve Bloor says:
October 7, 2012 at 7:01 am
Your thoughts above are probably the most beautiful and touching words I’ve ever heard about accepting death & this one life we have for the reality they are.
They are made all the more meaningful & vivid because of knowing you & Martin like I do, & also understanding some of the emotionally traumatic journey you’ve been on.
I too feel the connectedness to the rest of humanity. And that sense of compassion which that empathy brings.
Wishing you all the best for the rest of your journey,