First of all I want to express my gratitude to all of you wonderful people out there. Your support, acceptance, and kind word as response to my post on being an Atheist meant the world to me. I was at a point when I felt like an outcast for something I really don't have much control over. I have read many testimonies of people who were non-believers or casual church-goers but at some point found a deeper meaning in the bible and found solace in their faith. For me, it was the other way around. I have tried for a long time to believe, to be a good Christian. I have read the bible cover to cover, I have attended bible retreats, worship and bible studies. I remember the last time a former boyfriend of mine prayed with me. I really wanted to believe, but eventually accepted and embraced being a non-believer. I don't have it in my heart to believe in a god, which does not make me a bad person, since I definitely have a conscience and high ethical and moral standards.
The lovely Kimbra over at Mommy's Rambles asked me a question, which I responded but decided to explain in more detail, since I felt that I wasn't quite able to put everything in a post comment. She asked me what I believe happens at the time of death.
Well, at the moment of death, all the body functions shut down. It may be the heart stopping to beat due to a heart attack, which leads to the brain not being supplied with oxygen and dying and all the other organs following suit. We all know the different types a body can die, and that is what I truly think happens.
I don't believe in an afterlife per se. I would like to believe in re-birth, but don't really do. I, however truly believe in a life after death in the hearts and memories of our loved ones. In the traces that our actions and words have left on this physical world. I had a wonderful coworker a few years back. She and my other coworkers were my support network during my first pregnancy, as my mom was half a world away. We actually were almost like family. Just before Thanksgiving back in 2007 they found out that her husband, who was in his early 40s, had cancer, which soon turned out to be terminal. He put up an amazing fight but lost it on Easter Sunday of 2008. He was a wonderful man, in so many ways. He was the first dead body I had ever seen in my life, and it wasn't the man I had known any more. What I remember with so much fondness was the moments I spent with my coworker, just sharing memories about him. I had not known him for a long time, but he was just such an original. A year or so ago I chatted with my former coworker, and I asked her if she remembered the lunch we had at work where he showed up in shorts, white tennis socks, and flip-flops; she scolded him for that, and it was so hilarious. I have to smile whenever I have to think about it; she said that she had forgotten about that, but yes, it was hilarious.
To me, these are the moments when our loved ones are among us again. They live in our hearts and are right there with us if we remember them. Maybe this legacy is what some religions call the soul, or karma. Some people should not be remembered, and if we think about them, there are no positive thoughts, and other people just bring to us happiness as they did in life. I hope that when I am gone, I will be among the latter. This is one reason why I try my best to live a good life. I want to leave this world to my children a better place. And if I have just changed the world to the better for one single person, it was all worth it.