For everything there is a season

OK It might be unwise for me to claim that I am playing catch-up again as this seems to be becoming my more of the rule than the exception 😦

As I mentioned last time, I had recently read The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and I promised to talk more about it, well I was writing my thoughts when I found myself going off on a little tangent, which I have decided to separate out from it for you now.

Feel free to skip this post if you find it a bit too depressing, but this post is about death (It also contains spoilers for The Time Traveller’s Wife). I think this is the first time I have come off the fence on my blog and declared the fact that I am not a particularly religious person.

I will take a minute as an aside to point out (as I know this is a hot button topic) that I am not particularly anti-religion and I bring up my children to be Catholics as that is Mrs Geek’s faith. I simply have no faith. This is not designed as a post about religion, other than relating to death it self, but it is hard to discuss one without the other. (I actually find theology an incredibly interesting topic, but one I would find very difficult to condense not to mention trivialise into a blog post.)

So anything post-death to me is a big unknown.

This being said I have never been particularly afraid of death, mainly because … well I just assumed it would happen when it happens. But now, since having children, things have changed. I don’t fear it as such, but thinking about it now holds an element of discomfort that never used to be there. It’s not because of some fear of the afterlife or even of death it self, but it’s more like the reason a tired 5 year old will protest about going to bed, even hours after bed time. It is the fear of missing something. I feel like it would be cheating me out of seeing my children’s future. It is the fear that my absence will cause them pain.

I have a friend whose Mum did not make it to her wedding day and whose Dad died just a few months before she gave birth to his grandson. Thankfully I can only imagine the pain of not having been able to share these moments with my parents.

In the story, I suppose this pain was partially mitigated by the fact that he had travelled to the future before he died so got to see some of the things he would have otherwise missed, but would that be enough?

Alas, I don’t have the ability to pop forward in time to see how things turned out so I guess for now I’ll just have to look both ways when I cross the road and try to get back into the habit of taking better care of myself (I have been running twice this week … it’s a start 🙂 )

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5 Responses to For everything there is a season

  1. jono says:

    Having lost my father last September I can relate to this post very easily. The thoughts you express echo mine, especially the part about missing out on things. To coin a cliche, we have to live one day at a time I guess. To waste a life worrying about such things is the worst waste of all. Well that’s what I try to tell myself. Do you think it’s a coincidence that I am also an atheist with a Catholic wife? 🙂

  2. RC says:

    Even with religious beliefs, the thought of missing something – or just not being there – for my little guy worries me.

    As jono said, I could consider it a waste of time to worry, but the worries still come. Especially when I see or hear stories about parents dying or facing death while their children are still quite young.

    And having religious beliefs, doesn’t mean I never question them.

  3. mrsvierkant says:

    I find the thought/faith/belief of an afterlife very comforting when dealing with the loss of a loved one. To think that this person near and dear to my life is gone forever and that when you die that is it, would make grief for me incomprehensible. Religion for me nurtures that faith, and brings comfort when sometimes comfort is hard to find. Clear as mud, I know. 🙂 It is a book that makes you think, isn’t it?

  4. mrsvierkant says:

    I meant to say unbearable, not incomprehensible… I had two thoughts and they melded together in a taggled mess. Must be Sunday afternoon, a nap would feel quite nice about now.

  5. Mr Geek says:

    All: OK I think it is worth pointing out that, the above may have been a little misleading. It is not that it is something that is bothering me as such; it really was sparked by the book. I just noticed the transition from my being rather dismissive of the concept of it no longer being a non-issue.

    jono: It’s rather a strange dynamic in our house. I know a lot of atheists that would be uncomfortable in my shoes. I semi-regularly go to church and usually find myself as the go-to person for my kids’ religious questions. Does it make me a hypocrite? Probably, but being a parent seems to have a lot of that for me.

    RC: I did not mean to imply that the religious did not question their beliefs; I have been to too many bible studies classes to think that to be so.

    MrsV: I think I would best describe it as being maybe a little less comfortable, but not unbearable. That is what you do when you have no choice. There are many reasons why faith would make life easier for me, but how do you choose to believe? Alas, at least for now, that seems to be a source of comfort that I am denied.

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