Tag: Grief

Lighten up, dude!

‘Imagine there’s no heaven…’


Man, I wish I was a Catholic. Catholics have it made. They believe in God, they believe in Life After Death, they believe in Heaven. A member of the bereavement group I used to belong to said to me at one of the meetings: I miss my wife so much but I know I’ll be with her in Heaven.

To which I replied:

Then why the hell are you in this group, man? This group is for bereaved people who have lost loved ones and will never see them again. You’re like a guy who just put his wife on a plane knowing you will join her later in a wonderful vacation spot. I do not have such a belief, or any such expectation. I wish the hell I did. All I know is I have lost my wife forever and will grieve for her for the rest of my life, whereas you are temporarily—not even bereaved—but temporarily without your wife. You, sir, are an imposter.

That was my last meeting.

As far as I can see — and I’m not saying that is the ultimate horizon, but it is as far as I can see — death ends in oblivion, and oblivion is a place, a real place — we were all there before we were born — whereas “heaven” is not a place, not a real place, it is an unreal place or at best a surreal place, where fearful or highly imaginative imaginations imagine themselves going when they die, to be reunited with loved ones and so on and so forth.

But, alas, according to all the evidence, it is highly unlikely to happen — but here is the saving grace for believers (bless their souls), they will never know if it doesn’t happen because they will be in oblivion where there is no awareness or sensibility or anything at all, in fact, nothing but black unknowing unconscious emptiness.

So therefore, accepting, or at least suspecting that there is no heaven, the heaven as imagined by over-imaginations, and since it is more likely (as far as I can see) to be a black oblivion that awaits us all, I would gladly (rather than linger ungladly in a living hell of grief) go to oblivion to join my wife, for even though I won’t know it, I will be with her again, albeit in a world of nonexistence.

To which my lighter self said: Lighten up, dude! Have another brandy and go to bed. Somewhere there are wildflowers.

Closet as she left it

Everything is the way she left it

The red coat she wore on the last day of her life is still in the closet. And her jackets and dresses. Her shoes and boots. Her blouses and other garments are in the chest of drawers. Her sweaters are in the cedar chest. He sometimes think about packing them up and taking them to Goodwill. But he never does.

The dishes and glassware and cutlery are as she left them in the kitchen cupboards. Thirteen months ago. He barely uses them. He eats take-out and frozen dinners.

The only piece of furniture that he frequents is the drink cabinet. It is full with bottles of gin and vodka and rum and tequila and bourbon and brandy and several liqueurs.

He lives with a cat. His wife’s cat. He drinks alone. The cat doesn’t drink but she sits in his wife’s empty armchair and watches him drink, wondering perhaps, if this night will be another night of 80-proof railing and wailing.

He has no immediate family left. He has been invited to move to places where he has some extended family and a few friends — Florida, South Carolina, Northern Michigan. He thinks about moving. But he never does. He tells them he’s too old to move. The will, the life have left him.

So he sits in his bungalow and drinks. He reads C.S. Lewis and The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton, and other spiritual literature in the hope that he will “see the light,” as the saying goes.

The other night he made the cat jump when he suddenly yelled: “I have seen the light — and it is black!”

The cat didn’t think it was funny, but he laughed his drunken ass off.