Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Where Do We Go From Here?

I was thirty-one years old when my mother died at fifty-five. It was the occasion of my first real faith crisis: where was she now?

Heaven was my hope, and I weighed what I considered her goodness and her shortcomings, wondering if God would find her wanting. I wanted to believe that I would see her again, that she was sitting next to the heavenly throne surrounded by those loved ones who had gone before her. But I'll be honest: my religion wasn't all that reassuring that this was the case.

My thoughts around this are different as a fifty-nine year old. My faith has matured and been fed by myriad sources. I don't feel I'm dealing with just a heaven or hell option. The God of my understanding is Love personified and perfected. He is not judgmental - after all isn't this what was asked of us - and his adoration of me is unconditional. He knows that my essence, my heart, is good and that the rest of me is trying to catch up.

What I know is this: There is something that is uniquely me. I call it my spirit, but there are other names for it. And I know that the spirit that is me, the spirit that was my mother and father, the spirit that is my dying friend, will not die. That it will live on in some form or fashion. It may be only as a memory, it may be in another life form, or it may be in heaven. I don't have the "final answer". Nor do I have to anymore.

I get comfort from this belief. I don't worry about how life adds up, whether the good outweighs the bad. This is good for my grieving, good for my living, and it'll be good for my dying.

Thanks be.