I don't believe in God. Not in the traditional sense of thinking there is some being controlling my life and causing things to happen. I think god is an idea created by people, to make reality a little less scary. And I totally get the appeal, if I could believe that this was all part of some master plan, that there would be some reason for everything it would make me feel less vulnerable. Less like tragedy could strike at any time.
But I can't believe in God.
I can't believe that everything happens for a reason. It is not possible to convince me that Oliver being dead is part of any sort of plan. Like in the grand scheme of things it is ok. It is not ok and it will never be ok.
I wish I could believe in God, or heaven. If I could believe that someday I would be able to see my baby, and hold him and know him, I would. I would give almost anything to believe that. I am grateful to the people who do believe in heaven. I want them to be right.
I think if I could believe that he was in heaven somewhere safe and warm, being taken care of, and that I could go there, it would make things easier. Or maybe it would make things harder, because I would want to go there right now.
I do believe in science, and matter. I also believe in what I will call a soul, for lack of a better word. I think there is an energy component to people that makes up who they are. As you age, your cells die and new cells are formed. Your soul is what makes you "you" during your whole life. it is why you are the same person you were as an infant even though every cell in your body is not the same.
I believe when you die, that energy, just like the matter that makes up your body, dissipates back into the universe. There is no second chance, no reunion in heaven, no afterlife. You get one chance to live, once chance to do things, interact with people, to be. I think the idea that life is all we get makes it mean more. If you only live once, you shouldn't waste time. Oliver taught me that bad things can happen, at any moment, for no reason with no warning.
Our time on this earth is so short. I think of how unfair that it is that Oliver never got any, but even if you live to be 100 it is still relatively so so short. I think you have to live like you are going to live. A lot of people think saying Carpe Diem (or the painfully trendy YOLO) is just an excuse to do dumb things, and not think of the consequences for the future. I think it is a little more long term tan that. Thinking of the fragility of life isn't going to make me cash out my savings to go on a trip today, but it does make me want to treasure every second that I have with the people I love, because I don't believe I will see them in a magical afterlife. This is it, we get one life so make it count.
In trying to console myself about Oliver, I try not to think of the fact that I will never see him again, or never hold him in my arms, or know him. I try to think of all the endorphins that flooded both of our brains when I was happy, and all the kicks we shared, listening to his daddy sing or eating ice cream or drinking tea. I think of the joy of seeing his little flutter of a heartbeat for the first time on that monitor, and the excitement we felt planning for our lives as parents.
There doesn't seem to be a lot out there to console bereaved parents that is secular, and doesn't offer the promise of a reunion someday, so I needed to write this. Just in case. Just in case someone else needs to be reminded that life is just a series of brief interactions, of people enriching each others lives and enjoying the time we have. We have to honor the babies who are dead by continuing on, and enjoying the gift that we have of getting old, and of living. And knowing that however briefly they were here, we are better for loving them.
|The beautiful walk we took last night. The world can still be a beautiful place.|