Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Losing My Religion

Feh, the title just sounded cool. What a great song, never have figured out what the heck it's about.

Some comments were made on my previous post, about needing or finding god to help me heal.

I think those comments were made knee-jerk, and without much thought, and certainly not with malintent. DIY is not the first or the last to think or say things like that. Here in America we live in a very theistic society, the vast majority of Americans believe in a Judeo-Christian god even if there is not formal religion, and most Americans find atheism bizarre and boogeyman-like. It's a stretch for a lot of small-town America (where I live and work) in particular to recognize the diversity in our country. Sometimes I feel like whipping out my can of atheist whoop-ass when people say knee-jerk hurtful things, but I never do.

In my many conversations with other grieving parents, what stands out to me is that no one has it figured out. Parental grief is parental grief whether you pray or not. I sometimes picture myself if a huge void of nothingness searching for someone who has the answers, only to see the shrinks, the Christians, the nihilists peering back at me for the same answers.

There is no where to go with grief. It is what it is.

One could argue that there may be those with a better grip on existential pain than I have. People with better answers to "What's it all for?" than I do. People who are more skilled at looking at this life fully, calmly, and openly and being able to handle, or even embrace, the uncertainty and meaning of it all.

But not so with grief. It's there, whether or not you want it. There's no prayer, or pill, or pop-psych book that makes it easier.

That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight, I'm
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no, I've said too much
I haven't said enough

PS The one comment that I will choose to be judgemental about was the one made that god sends us trouble to remember him. Whatever you may or may not believe, please NEVER say that to someone whose child has died. It is deeply hurtful.


rlbates said...

"There is no where to go with grief. It is what it is." << yes, it is.

socks said...

And, to add to RLBATES, grief brings a different perspective to life, albeit painful at times.

pieceofmind said...

In the words of Nicholas Wolterstorff, "But please, Don't say it's not really so bad. Death is awful, demonic. If you think your task as comforter is to tell me that really, all things considered, it's not so bad, you do not sit with me in my grief but place yourself off in the distance away from me. Over there you are of no help. What I need to hear from you is that you recognize how painful it is. I need to hear from you that you are with me in my desperation. To comfort me, you have to come close. Come sit beside me on my mourning bench.

I know people do sometimes think things are more awful than they really are. Such people need to be corrected gently, eventually. But no one thinks death is more awful than it is. Its those who think its not so bad that need correcting." from his book, Lament for a Son.