On Faith, Belief, and Hope

I grew up in religion. Up until I was almost 21, I had a very clear and defined way I believed the universe worked. Even after I left the religion, I still believed in a different order of things. I can’t tell you when my faith turned into hope. When I definitively decided that there was no one answer, because no one could KNOW the answer. But I got there.

Now, I don’t believe anything. I guess you could call me a staunch agnostic… There’s no way for anyone here to know for sure what happens after death, so I’m not necessarily willing to rule anything out. Maybe all we are is neurons firing away, and any out of body, or near death experiences are just people’s brains doing their dying hurrahs. Maybe the Catholics are right, and the vast majority of the people I know (myself included) are going to burn in hell. Maybe the Mormons are right and eventually we’ll all get to some level of heaven, and they’ll go on to be gods themselves while the rest of us are… Converted? Happy? Maybe we get resurrected… Maybe we get reincarnated. Maybe maybe maybe.

I do know I hope. I hope that we don’t forget. I hope that what we go through here stays with us. I hope that there is something afterward, and we stay ourselves and will get to see each other again.

I spent a good hour talking to Ian tonight. Telling him how much I missed him, how hurt I was. I told him WHAT I missed, and how much I wished he’d have let me in. I told him I would have done anything for him.

I hope he can hear me. I hope he is wherever spirits end up, and I hope he is healthy now, and able to see what he couldn’t while he was here. I hope he can feel how much we all loved him. And I hope he regrets what he did…. Not so much that he’s tortured because of it, but enough that whenever the rest of us get to where he is, he’ll greet us with a hug and an apology.

I hope that wherever that is, after my hug and apology, he’ll show me around. Teach me where the nifty hidden spots are. Introduce me to the cool people. I hope he remembers me, and I remember him. I don’t want to forget.

I think that honestly scares me more than any other option out there… I do NOT want to forget. I’d rather this be it than to forget and start all over. I can’t stand the idea that I might have to do all this again… Love, lose, hurt, learn… I can barely stand thinking of getting through the rest of my week, much less lifetime upon lifetime of doing it again and again and again. Let me progress. Or let me stop existing after I’m done. One of the two.

Some people do have faith. A lot do, it seems. And it gives them comfort, so I am glad for them. Me, I can’t have that. The best I can muster is hope with a heaping spoonful of skepticism. Ian was a devout atheist according to him. He thought that once you were gone, you were gone. If he was right, then he didn’t get the relief he wanted… He just stopped being in pain, which makes me sad. If the last thing he ever thought was that he was such a burden that the world and everyone who loved him would be better off with him gone from it, then that breaks my heart.

I hope he was wrong. I hope he can feel the love we all have for him. I know I said that earlier, but it really is the most important thing that I hope. I hope I’ll have a chance to feel his presence again… To feel like I’m home again.

I don’t believe. But I hope.

Written 4/6/14


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