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In the Sweet By and By

Eric’s grandmother’s funeral was today. It was actually quite a lovely service, but I do struggle with the experience of being an outsider from a religious standpoint. The family isn’t overly religious, including the dearly departed, but ministers will talk quite a bit about Jesus if you let them.

I think the part that bothers me is that, in a small way, I really do sort of wish I could believe that we all get to go home to a loving deity when we die. But I can’t ever believe such a thing, so when a guy stands up there telling me about it, I can’t help feeling like a child whose parents are feeding them the story about how the dog has been sent to the farm.

Anyway, they’re good people, my in-laws. I’m glad to know them. And I am grateful to all of you for your kind words of comfort over the last week.

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
avahgdu
Jul. 27th, 2006 05:53 am (UTC)
HUG

Don't know your fella, but hug him for me anyhow.
fenriss
Jul. 27th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks, darlin'. Will do.
cyntergomes
Jul. 27th, 2006 11:33 am (UTC)
Sending more love to you...
fenriss
Jul. 27th, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you sweetie.

FYI, in case I don't find time to reply to your email, you are welcome to come by late this evening. It'll be a miracle is we're in bed before 1:00!

Miss you.
cyntergomes
Jul. 27th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)
OH! You were talking about TONIGHT in the email. I saw the email date of Thursday and thought you were talking about tomorrow, Friday. I can probably be there at 10:30 tonight.
fenriss
Jul. 27th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC)
Great! Sorry about the confusion. Guess I hadn't noticed it was after midnight :) Hope we see you!
cyntergomes
Jul. 27th, 2006 07:12 pm (UTC)
I'm having dinner at my sister's place tonight, but I'll probably be heading home shortly after 10...so I'll just swing by your place first for SciFi fun!
acogswell
Jul. 27th, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
Love you guys so much!
fenriss
Jul. 27th, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
Love you, too. Miss you desperately! Don't wanna wait over a week to see you!
corwynj
Jul. 27th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC)
Just got back from camping.

[[Satellite Huglove laser Platform moving into position]]

(((Rummmble)))
(I know what you are thinking, 'Silly Corwyn, there is no sound in space.', Bah, Hollywood gets away with it.)

[sexy female computerized voice]
"Optimum firing position achieved"
"All power levels maximum"
"commencing firing sequence"
"Targets Rowe and Goldsmith acquired"
((((ZzzzzzzzZZZZSSSHHHHHHAWP))))

I know you are feeling happier, calmer and like some big thing is giving you a warm hug and your skin is oily to the touch, that is one of the side effects. Hey it's not perfect but it gets the job done.


fenriss
Jul. 27th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC)
*blinks*

You have no idea how much I love you. None.

*breaks down in tears of pure joy*
chadu
Jul. 27th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
I think the part that bothers me is that, in a small way, I really do sort of wish I could believe that we all get to go home to a loving deity when we die. But I can’t ever believe such a thing, so when a guy stands up there telling me about it, I can’t help feeling like a child whose parents are feeding them the story about how the dog has been sent to the farm.

I dig that you can't believe it, but consider: sometimes the dog has really and truly been sent to the farm (or farm equivalent).

What bugs me is when people start talking about how great the farm is, how it has a duckpond and hayrides, and how Mrs. MacDonald makes great apple cobbler -- but they've never been to the farm themselves, nor have they talked to anyone who's been to the farm. They're relying on a traveller's diary report, written and translated from Chinese, from 1900. And the diarist -- much less the farm itself or the MacDonalds -- may not actually have been a real person.

CU
fenriss
Jul. 27th, 2006 07:25 pm (UTC)
Umm... quite.

But there's no farm. Not one we can take our consciousness to. Maybe the energy that animates us gets to return to some Cosmic Sameness, or something, but there's no way there could be a "me" to experience that. Not without neurotransmitters or neurons.

So I don't believe there's a farm, and I get a little angry with people for trying to comfort me with lies, however beautiful they may be.
chadu
Jul. 27th, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
But there's no farm. Not one we can take our consciousness to. Maybe the energy that animates us gets to return to some Cosmic Sameness, or something, but there's no way there could be a "me" to experience that.

I hold that we cannot know if there's a farm or not. I also hold that we don't understand consciouness/identity well enough to tell if there'll be any "me" there.

I am irked equally by statements of "heaven exists and is exactly like this" and "death is oblivion."

Ahhhh, agnostics: the bisexuals of the theological world. The theists diss you for not singing along to their hymnbook and the skeptics diss you for wanting to sing. :)

Not without neurotransmitters or neurons.

Personally, I don't ascribe to what some long-haired philosopher called "nothingbutness" -- I don't think we're just the sum of our gooshy bits.

I could, of course, be completely wrong.

So I don't believe there's a farm, and I get a little angry with people for trying to comfort me with lies, however beautiful they may be.

I can understand that: not a fan of lies. However, I offer that the lie here is the beautifulosity of the farm. (The simple existence of the farm being unprovable.)

I myself dislike it when people throw their particular vision of heaven at me to comfort me, but I find myself wondering if they phrased it as an "I hope so-and-so is in HappyFunTimeLand" or an "I feel that so-and-so is in HappyFunTimeLand" rather than "So-and-so is in HappyFunTimeLand right now, drinking pinot noir and playing the timpani" if it'd bug me as much.

Note that I'm not trying to change your mind about anything, or force my views on you. Just talking about my personal feelings. If you don't think there's a farm, bully for you. I think there's a good chance that there's a farm out there, but I have no idea what it's like, and get ticked at people telling me how it is rather than how they hope it is.

*hugs*

CU
rionnkelly
Jul. 27th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth, when my dad was "on his final approach" he was still pretty lucid right up to the end. It was interesting to watch how his attention seemed to be taken up by something fascinating taking place on the ceiling. When I asked him to describe it to me, he told me that he really wished he could, but there were no words...

I think the french were onto something when they coined the term "petit mort" as a euphemism for the orgasm. Nobody quite experiences an orgasm the same way anybody else does--and I think it's much the same way with death. Sure, there are the physiological similarities, but as to the psychological, emotional and spiritual aspect of it--to each his or her own.

As for "the farm," it's there for you if you believe it's there, and if you don't it's not. Take the comforting gestures for what they are and don't let yourself get hung up on the language.

Having just had a refresher course on that, trust me, I know what I'm talking about.

Love to you both!
joanarkham
Jul. 27th, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC)
*hugs*

We still need to hang out soon...Sunday?
fenriss
Jul. 27th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
We do need to hang out, but Sundays suck for me. I work until at least 6 PM. We could maybe consider dinner if that wasn't too late for you? Or maybe some other time.

Sorry. I knew that starting to do the massage work would come with sacrifices, and getting to see my favorite people much has been one of the first things to go :(
joanarkham
Jul. 27th, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)
Duh, that's right...that's why we moved book club.

You got my e-mail with our upcoming schedule, right?
fenriss
Jul. 27th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
that's why we moved book club.

That was awfully sweet of you guys, btw.

You got my e-mail with our upcoming schedule, right?

I did. And I'm afraid it mostly looked bad, so I was still struggling to figure out where we could try to make something work. The only thing that look viable is maybe that Saturday in late August, mostly because Friday nights and Sundays are bad for us...
joanarkham
Jul. 27th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
What about next Saturday (the 5th)?

Weeknight dinner somewhere in Arlington?
fenriss
Jul. 27th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)
The 5th is Morrigan's birthday in So. MD.

Is 6PM on Sunday too late for dinner for you?
joanarkham
Jul. 27th, 2006 10:47 pm (UTC)
Probably not...I'll give you a call.
pastor_saturn
Jul. 27th, 2006 04:21 pm (UTC)
Aw, glad you're back. Love to you and Eric.
fenriss
Jul. 27th, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks, sweetie. Love back.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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