4/21/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Tania ~
I guess that some people would call me a “non-believer.” I wouldn't call myself that, although, yes, when it comes to many religious beliefs that many people firmly hold onto, I am certainly not as firm a believer as others.
There are many things I would like to believe; however, that does not mean that I CAN wholeheartedly do this, no matter how I hard I pray or mull them over in my mind or discuss them with other people. Contrary to many people's opinions, the reason for my unbelief is not my own choice, my own doing, something I purposefully worked towards; rather, it's just the way that my mind functions, added to the combination of events, people, and places that have made up my life so far.
I've heard many people say that they would not choose certain parts of their lives, because they are just too difficult. People do not choose to be gay. People do not choose to be angry. People do not choose to be atheists. My co-worker did not choose to be a mother to a child who later developed schizophrenia – she loves her son very much, but it is a very difficult thing to be a mother to a child with schizophrenia. I would not choose to be the cynical, sceptical person I am – but that's how I am, and the most I can do is deal with it in the best way I know how.
But, back to this thing about being a “non-believer”.. There are many beliefs that I struggle with - we don't have to get into those right now. But I do believe.
When I back up the funeral home van to a set of doors at the back of the hospital and walk into the morgue, ready to transfer Mr. L or Mrs. T or Mr. R, I believe that it is very likely that this is not in fact the absolute end of life – just the end of life as we know it.
When I looked at Mr. S – a middle-aged man who had committed suicide in a very bizarre manner – lying in his casket, ready for to be viewed one last time by family and friends that he had left behind, I believe that he finally made his escape from a world that he couldn't handle and is in a better place.
When everyone else has left the cemetery and only the funeral home staff remain at the grave, waiting for the cemetery staff to finish the work of burying those no longer with us, I believe that all will be well, even if we cannot see it in the moment.
When I see weeds pushing their way through the soil each spring, I believe that life is wonderful, that this life-force is one whose beginnings and whose persistence are magical.
When I see the colours of the fall, when my breath is almost taken away by the sight of this beauty, I believe that there is something spectacular in nature that all of science and all of religion cannot simplify into words.
When I drive through the mountains and ponder the ideas that masses of ice covered what is now lush green grass and tall trees and that dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I believe that the millions of years that preceded my 29 years of life and the millions of years that may likely follow my 29 years of life are full of astounding events beyond my wildest dreams.
When I'm at the nursing home and hear J happily singing, “And He walks with me, and He talks with me,” I know that although I'm not so certain about the God I was once so certain about, I still believe that I will be looked after, that I don't walk alone, that someone one or Someone out there understands me, that someone is holding my hand.
When I hold the hand of a dying person, when I hear her struggle with her last breaths, when I look into her eyes and can tell that she will soon be saying goodbye to this life, I believe that there is a significance to each person's life and death, even if we do not understand it with our limited knowledge.
I may not believe in everything that I am “supposed” to believe in, but what I do believe is enough.