Friday, 7 January 2011

Thoughts from the fourth pew to the right

Today I was at a funeral together with my parents. One of Dad's friends had died and when asked if I wanted to come with them I said yes. I had met him several times during my childhood. But when I sat there in the church I payed no attention to the ceremony, instead my mind wandered and I found myself wondering why we were doing this. I mean Christianity (and loads of other religions too) claims that all people have a soul, right? And that soul is supposed to leave the body when the person dies, right? So why do we do this big ceremony for the person who is no longer present, nor is his soul present. Why do we honour the body, which is now only an empty shell? Cause you don't think the soul would actually hang around after it left the body, do you? Maybe it has something to do with the family watching their beloved go to the final rest in the ground and tell themselves that their loved one is now at a better place?

I'm also having a hard time believing in any kind of better place. If all the people who have lived on this planet and that haven't been bad enough to go to Hell goes to Heaven, then that means that all the people who made this world this way will all be there. Then how could that possibly be a better place? Cause they succeeded at their second try? Then there are those who belive in reincarnation. I shudder at the thought. Who'd want to be reborn into this world? This terrible, terrible place. I do understand that people are afraid of everything coming to an end and that they need something to comfort themselves with. But I can't. I never had the faith children usually do and I don't belive now either. When you die that's it. Finished. Over. You crossed the finish-line. Congratulations. Your trial is now over. Life sucks and life's hard. Everyone knows that. So why look upon death as anything but what it is - liberation. I'm not suicidal. I'm not pessimistic. I'm realistic and maybe a little cynical.

I know I have a history of believing in more than I can see and touch and I do. Why not? A little magic spices up the mundanity. That does not mean I'm religious or spiritual, I'm just open for the possibility. Possible until proven impossible. That applies for most folklore creatures. That does not apply for gods and religions. Gods and religions are obstructions of the heart. People want to have someone like that. Someone who will always forgive, always welcome you back, someone to blame and someone to ask for advice, someone who doesn't leave you. It all sounds great, doesn't it? But the Chirstian God never applied to any of those to me, and since Christianity is the only reference I have I'll have to go with that. The Christian God is cruel and stubborn. He's morbid and perverted and childish and selfish. He put us on this earth to save ourselves and doesn't lift a hand to help until we're all dead and by then it's too late. So if there will ever be a time for the religious Christians to tell us all that "I told you so" then I still think that God needs to shape up before I'll accept him as anything.

I kind of wandered off topic. But this is pretty much my thoughts during the ceremony. At least it kept my mind off the facts that I was wearing a dress and high-heels and was seated inside a church. Three things that I hate. I didn't mind the colour, though ;)


  1. The ceremony is not so much for the one who is dead as it is for the ones who are still living. It makes a difference for the person's relatives to see that he or she made a difference in the world, to hear about how other people remember her or him, and to feel that even though the one they loved and lived with is gone they are not alone in the world.

  2. In that case I would be really disappointed in the priest. Barely mentioned anything personal about him at all and did the whole ceremony according to her protocol :/ There were no real speeches, only one that destroyed the whole afterwards-thingy. And he said we ought to look after his mother and move on from this bad day etc etc.

    As I see it the ceremony is supposed to honour the dead. But it gives some sense of finality and relief to the family that this big obstacle is over and now they can grieve in peace.


What's the first thought in your head after reading this? Let me know!