In my last post, I wrote about the death of my mother. I think I made it pretty clear, but this was a very significant loss for me, and those who know me, know just what an impact it has been on me. First off, let me start by saying, I have some amazing friends and family. The support system that popped up, almost overnight, when my mom first got sick was so impressive, that I found myself extremely humbled and thankful for the souls that have been placed in my life.
All that being said, I’ve been faced with a perplexing situation.
Over the last month or so, every conversation has started with the exact same phrase:
“I’m so sorry for your loss.”
This phrase is always followed up with a rather awkward pause. Partly because they don’t know what else to say, and partly because I certainly don’t either.
What exactly are you supposed to say when someone says this to you? Most of the time, I shrug my shoulders and say something like “yeah, she was one-of-a-kind!” But is that really the appropriate response? Do you thank someone for acknowledging that someone in your life has passed away? Does that seem a tad bit morbid or inappropriate? I really don’t know!
I’ve found through this whole situation, that there really is a lot I don’t know about life, and how to handle certain things. People keep asking me if I’ve been out to the cemetery to “visit” her, and I can honestly say yes, but I don’t think I’ve been out as much as they expect me to be. I think people expect that I should be out there 3 or 4 times a week, and to be honest, I’ve been out there 3 times total since the funeral.
For the most part, I don’t divulge that information to most people, but the ones who have flat out asked how many times I’ve been there, I am honest with. Some of them give me a perplexing look, as if it is disrespectful that I haven’t gone to “pay my respects” more often.
I don’t see it as disrespectful at all, and here’s why.
I know not everyone who reads this blog is a Christian, and doesn’t believe in a higher power, but I do. I believe full-heartedly that we were all created by a superior being (in the case of my faith, God) and when we die, our souls go to either Heaven or Hell depending on what occurs on judgement day.
Whether you are Christian or not, there is one thing we can all agree on. After death, our earthly bodies go to one place; our final resting ground, and they never leave (except under extenuating circumstances, but just stay with me on this!). In most cases, that’s either a grave, or an urn, or some sort of memorial. But even those who don’t believe in any kind of afterlife have to agree, that once you die, your soul is gone. That body laying in that casket, no longer has a soul. It doesn’t matter where you think that soul has gone, it’s not there, plain and simple.
So my justification behind this is, why should I feel like I HAVE to visit a grave site when my mom isn’t there? Maybe that sounds a little, I dunno…maybe disrespectful, but I personally see it as a way of accepting that I know she has moved on to something bigger and better, and as long as I continue to force myself to go to a grave, I’m only prolonging the denial phase. Again…maybe I’m wrong; honestly, I probably am.
So I just want to put it out there now, for when my day comes, I hope that none of you feel obligated to come and kneel beside a headstone and cry (or laugh, I won’t judge) because guess what…I’m not there! To be completely honest, I don’t care what happens to my body after my soul leaves it. The human body is amazing and complex, but at the end of the day, it’s just a vessel…an imperfect vessel.