Living without a god

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This year a lot of things happened, good and bad. One of the worst, most sad things that happened was my grandmother’s death. She was not that old, but after once having avoided death, a sudden illness took her down within a few days. She died at home with family, at least, as a small comfort. We went through the funeral preparations like zombies, picking flowers, casket, song for the church, clothes for her to wear. So many things needed to be prepared, that I guess it wasn’t until the funeral we had time to grieve.

And I was sitting there in the church, trying not to cry too much, I realized something: I don’t ever want this. The church was so beautiful – there were more flowers than I’ve ever seen in my life. The priest held a nice speech about my grandmother, how nice a person she had been, how she was with God in Heaven now. And I realized – If I died right now and this was what people would do to celebrate me, I’d be sad.

First of all, I’d be dead. I wouldn’t see all those flowers. After my funeral, they’d be lying on a cold grave in an empty graveyard. How huge of a waste is that?

Secondly, and most importantly, I don’t believe I’d go to Heaven or be with any kind of God. It’s just not something I think about. I have several friends who are christians. They aren’t deeply religious as in they go to church all the time, but a prayer once in a while, and the knowledge that there is a god is their way of practicing. I’ve tried to explain how it is to not think about a higher power, but it’s very hard to explain, and hard to understand. When other’s pray to a God that something good will happen – I just hope. Nothing more. It’s not the same as praying, but apparently, this is hard to believe. I go about my life as any others would, and I’ve been through many things, and never have I felt like I needed a God to guide me.

I started thinking about myself as non-religious a while ago, but I guess it wasn’t until that moment I realized, I was ready to go that last step and sign out of the church.

My friends have then since wondered about what I will do with life’s big events: Wedding, baptism and funeral. Well, I thought long and hard about that as well. They were part of the reason I was still clinging on to my membership of the church. And I know the answer now:

Wedding – doesn’t need a priest to be legal. City hall is just as binding as a church wedding, and just because it’s not a church wedding, doesn’t mean you won’t get to wear a smashing dress, anyways (white isn’t really my colour, anyways). Besides, I don’t think I’d make a big deal out of getting married if I ever will. To me, it’s just sort of a promise to stay together, nothing more. It’s the marriage itself that’s important, not the party or the ceremony.

Baptism – fairly easy. You don’t need to be a member of a church to have a legal name. Besides, it’s a bit weird for parents to choose their child’s religion before it’s old enough to have an opinion – but that’s just my opinion.

Funeral – I guess this one is the biggest issue. What to do if you don’t want a funeral, but know you will inevitably die? I’m not a morbid person, I don’t plan on dying anytime soon – but I still feel like it’s my obligation to figure out what I want, in case something would happen. Just like I’ve decided whether or not I want to donate my organs. I just think it makes it easier for the ones who are left behind to know my wishes. And when I die (I doubt they’ll find a cure for aging in my times), I want to be cremated. I have a special spot where I have asked my family and close friends to spread my ashes. I won’t have a grave or a stone. For two reasons: A grave needs to be maintained, and this is both expensive and time consuming. As if I’m not bothering my loved ones enough by dying, I don’t want to add to it by giving them obligations to take care of my final resting place after. My other reason is that I really hope a stone isn’t necessary to remember me by.

I don’t want people to buy expensive flowers to leave for me. I’m dead and gone, I can’t appreciate them. They should give flowers to whoever is left behind, or even better, donate the money they would’ve spent on flowers to something that will benefit more from them.

Quite a different post than usual, but I have gotten so many reactions from various people about signing out of the church, I just wanted to take time to explain in a forum where no one can interrupt me. I respect all religions, as long as they respect others. I can’t stand people who ring doorbells to preach their religion – you can have your religion, but keep it to yourself. Don’t start wars saying your god is better than someone else’s. Follow your own religion privately, and get the haven you believe in. Leave others be to their haven.

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