Yesterday, I went to a wake who is a close friend of my brother's and he's sort of my friend I guess but he's closer to my brother then me because they are closer ages. I'm ten years apart from them. Anyway, when I was growing up with them and hanging out whenever I could, I got to know his family. His mom used to be a teacher aid at school, and she helped me out whenever I had trouble during studies. His brother and I used to play NES when he was baby sitting me. When I got coughed smoking, she just took the cigarettes and told me she never wanted to see me with another one of these ever again, and that's it. She was kinda like second mom, when ever I came over with my brother to visit them, she reminded me that I had a test on Monday. She helped out allot, and now 16 years later, I was at her wake. I couldn't believe it. She was only 61 and she died of liver failure. She didn't look real at all. There wasn't much I could say, as an atheist, I didn't know what to feel at this point. In my earlier years, I was brought up southern Babtist during my past wakes, now as an atheist it was different, all I could think of was just the glimpsess of her in my memories of life. Rather being religious or not, it still bums me out thinking about it. Nobody there other then my family, knew that I was an atheist, so I just said to the ones that were morning. That just remember the good times, and my showing up was the least I could do. I didn't stay there for very long, about twenty minutes or so was it for me. Later, there was a county fair in town, so I went to that to take my mind of off it. It helped a little. My folks are now thinking that they are the next ones in line, so he's having these long lectures with me and mom is just... well doing nothing really. All these events are hitting me at once, and it makes me look back on my life and question it rather I made the right choices in life or not;

"I should have asked that Tasha girl to dance with me at the prom that night. I should have stood up to that bully and socked him in the face. I should have told off that teacher, thinking he can't say that to me." I have so many regrets in my life to look back on, so many missed opportunities, thinking, are these going to be the same feelings I get during my last moments in life? I wounder if any of these moments in my life where life changing?  

I can only wounder. 

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Comment by Dr.Grixis on October 22, 2012 at 4:42pm

Dear Vince,

Please accept my condolences and let me wish you and your dearest the best. It's at times like these that we all feel that our words and emotions feel short of the actual loss that we have suffered.

There wasn't much I could say, as an atheist, I didn't know what to feel at this point.

Who cares about you being an atheist in times like these? You are first and foremost a loving human being that shares this world with others and forms bonds and close relationships with those around them. When people suffer a loss in their vicinity they mourn for what they've lost, it often feels as if we're leaving part of us behind when someone close to us dies.

Life is complex and people often look back on their past thinking of lost opportunities. One can only attempt to live close to one's heart and to grow from past mistakes to live life to the fullest. Wondering about what could've been can help us make better decisions for the future, or so one can hope. But it can also lead to self doubt and dark, depressive thoughts.  

If you are suffering from dark and depressive thoughts I would strongly recommend that you reach out in your close personal environment or to find a therapy group to help you through this. No man is an island by himself, we need other people to support us, to love and to be loved.

In regards to fear about death, I hope that I would face my own death proudly, having lived close to my heart with little regret. Life is nothing without meaning, and meaning is the flavor that I give to my life, like any person I fear mortality to some extent, but what I am transcends my mortal flesh, what I am consists of ideas, actions in the lives of others as a footprint for future generations.

Although one day, I will die, and I will fear this final unknown for certain, I do hope that I can continue to live my life in a way that has some everlasting positive value in the world, how tiny and insignificant this by itself might be until that final moment.

I am privileged that I can live in a society where I can live in such a way, if not, I would hope to have the courage to prefer to "die behind the chemical shed" than to live a lie.

Anyways, I do hope that you can find courage in this hard time.


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