I know everyone says I’ll see Charles again. And I do believe that.
Most of the time.
But there are times I don’t. Times when my mouth goes dry, my heart aches and I think, “What if nothing happens when people die?” Done with the dust and unable to feel the love.
Maybe we make up the “after life” because we fear the end. Fear death. Maybe we say we will see our loved ones again because we need to believe it, because it brings us comfort.
Am I the only one who ever thinks about this? Am I a terrible person that my faith is not as 100% as so many of you?
I question everything. I always have. And I have doubts. There’s no talking me out of how I feel or invalidating those feelings. This is simply what I struggle with.
It never mattered as much to me as it does now.
So I just have to be satisfied that I buy into some kind of “heaven” about 60% of the time. I have to find comfort that when I speak and write I feel Charles with me.
Dear Charles. My letter to heaven
Anne Moss Rogers
I am an emotionally naked mental health speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational mental health keynotes, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, anxiety, coping strategies/resilience, and grief.
As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory.
Mental Health Speakers Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.
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6 thoughts on “Where are you really?”
I think most people questions their faith. I read the book about Mother Theresa, and there were several extended periods in her life where she questioned the existence of God or an afterlife. I don’t know how anyone can go through life, and look at the randomness of tragedy and not have doubts. You read about a news event, like a hurricane, where people are killed, but others survived. The survivors say they prayed during the ordeal. Does that mean those who didn’t survive did not pray? I too, question and challenge everything. But I also know I feel my Dad’s spirit around me. I think I reject a lot of the Biblical view of heaven, or reject the concept of heaven as a physical place, but I do believe that the soul survives. In physics, we learn that energy is neither created nor destroyed, it can be transformed but it always exist. So that “soul”, that spirit, that energy source that is “us”, I believe that survives in some way after death. I think that energy survives regardless of your religion, or your prayers, or lack of prayers, or whether we believe or we don’t believe. I reject the concept of a God who requires you believe in a certain faith, because religion is based largely on your geography. A person born in India is most likely to be Hindu, and a person born in China and Southeast Asia is most likely to be Buddhist. The Jewish faith rejects Jesus, and yet the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths all share many of the stories in the Old Testament, and all have their roots in Abraham, and worship the same God. But the Christian faith teaches only those who accept Christ will be welcomed into heaven. I can’t accept that there is only one path, and that God would reject a kind and compassionate person, because they were raised in the Buddhist faith. I think my “faith” is based more on science than religion. We survive because energy survives, like boiling water is converted to steam, and then exits as water vapor, in a form no longer visible to our eyes, but it is there nonetheless.
Kay – I think we both go to the same “church.” There’s something and I feel his energy but I’ve thought through every thing you have written here. Thanks for your comment
My catholic faith truly has sustained me. I believe with my whole heart and soul that I will be in a place of total love and I have no doubt that I will see my Mark. That being said, I am still a human being and I have real grief bursts where I miss him so much my heart physically hurts. I am almost 4 years into this journey. It has gotten easier for me. When I am in a place of grief and brokenness, I pray for peace and comfort. I always get peace and joy. That’s what works for me. Incorporating grief into my everyday life, however, is not easy
I do pray for the strength to see myself through this journey. Thanks for your perspective Kathy.
You took the words out of my mouth and Whitten’s too. I found a heartbreaking and scary meme on his laptop after he died (which is a huge reason we know it was not planned – he would NEVER leave stuff on his computer, phone and papers for us to read)…”I’m a pretty good person. I would never hurt anybody. I am honest. I love and care for my family. Surely I will go to heaven when I die…..”
If I didn’t believe in Heaven, I’m not sure I could go on. On the other hand, in the early days after he died, that longing almost did me in several times…
Sending love to you…