If There Is a Heaven

Sometimes not having a religion is difficult.

Most times I am fine with my decisions about faith, but my uncle died last night.

Now I wished I believed in heaven.

I sort of have this image in my mind of my uncle up in heaven with my grandparents and my Grandfather giving him a hard time about dying so young. My Grandfather lived well into his nineties and he was pretty proud of that.

I think my Grandma would be really happy to see him. She passed away when I was little, so it has been a while.

But since I don’t believe in any of that, I’m not sure what to think, or how to feel.

I don’t even know what my uncle believed. I know he was raised Jewish but, like both of his brothers, he married a Christian.

We don’t talk all that much about religion in my family. I mean sometimes we would take time to make fun of creationists, but as a whole we aren’t that big on organized religion. I pretty much associate houses of worship with weddings and funerals.

I tend to lean towards some sort of reincarnation.

If that is the case I guess my uncle would come back in a good place. He was a really great guy.

Somehow this doesn’t make it a whole lot easier, but I think accepting the idea heaven would give me some comfort. Especially if it was the kind of heaven where he got 72 virgins. I still don’t believe any of that, but just for today, I wish I did.

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  1. My condolences.

    You don’t know how many times I wish I had faith. You’re not alone, then again, the promise of 72 virgins might make me do some really stupid shit.

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss, Sarah.

  3. I’m so sorry Sarah. It would be nice to have a fairy tale to fall back on I suppose. Although I do think he lives on somehow, somewhere if only in thoughts and stories. That’s a wonderful place to be, and less cliche than heaven.

  4. Amen to that Sarah! My condolences to you and yours.

  5. I am feeling your pain. Taking comfort in the idea that some type of afterlife might be there is tantalizing from time to time, especially when we don’t want to say good bye to people we love. If I died I wouldn’t want 72 virgins, I think that may actually be hell for a woman.

  6. Sorry to hear about your loss, sweetie.

  7. I’m sorry. It seems like there’s plenty out there without belief. I guess I do believe, and I have since I was tiny. It does help to have “someone” to turn to no matter what happens. I guess even in my most moments of doubt, I say to myself “what can it hurt, even if nothing exists, to have that sense of cushion” it’s not like it will hurt.. well whatever. just wanted you to know that people out there care about you and believe in you.

  8. Sarah, I’m so sorry about your uncle. Your post is what is in my heart a lot of the time. My father died when I was young, and when my uncle died a few years ago I remember wishing that they were buddies again. It’s tough.

  9. MathleteSarah says:

    I am with Arwin 72 male virgins would be hell, but at least it would be quick.
    I am truly sorry for your loss, but if it consoles you I have faith that good things happen to good people and that may be heaven or it may be another life. Have faith that he is at peace wherever he may be.

  10. You’re in my thoughts Sarah as is the rest of your family.

    MathleteSarah is right, it would be over so quickly with 72 male virgins. If I’m gonna be there for eternity, I would need some endurance in a few of them.

  11. First..I am very sorry and second..yes, ….belief makes it easier AND a nice explanation to little kids too..
    Though we are non believers here we were pretty happy to let Adam think that poppa and nana are up in heaven with my old cat and his fish.

  12. I’m very sorry, Sarah. In times like this, even though I’m not sure I believe, I like to pretend there’s a heaven. It makes me feel better.

  13. Sorry to hear about your uncle, hon. :(

    You can make up your own religion if you want. That way he can be in any ol’ Heaven you want him in.

  14. I’m so sorry to hear about your uncle. I think heaven is a pretty cool place and your uncle has all the babe angels surrounding him.

  15. So very sorry to hear about your Uncle.

  16. I know how you feel.
    It would be easier, sometimes, to have something to believe.

  17. I’m sorry, Sarah.

    But you can believe whatever you want, no strings attached. Heaven without church, God without religion. It’s ok.

  18. I’m sorry Sarah…

  19. Believe what you want, when you want. It’s your life, so you get to change the rules.


  20. I think the best thing about organized religion is that it provides a supportive, nurturing community that boosts its members during difficult periods and shares in joyous ones.

    Who needs faith when you’ve got a blog?

    Sorry if that’s overly flip, but tons of people care about you – want their voices to provide comfort and love – and they are right here. You’ve got a roomful of people with you, holding your hand or patting your shoulder, and even though it’s coming to you via the internet, I hope it gives you just as much peace as a bunch of smelly delinquents hanging around your house and bringing you a casserole. At least you don’t have to clean up after us.

    That said, I’ll totally bring you a casserole if you want.

  21. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Dealing with death is harder when you are not sure what you believe in.

  22. Sorry for your loss, Sarah.

  23. Sorry to hear about your Uncle. Wherever he maybe I am sure the afterlife is a good place.

    Send me your email, somehow I deleted my entire email list yesterday and lost everything.

  24. Sarah, I am sorry about your Uncle, but he does live on. Parts of him are passed down, through his children (if he had any) and even down through to the Goon Squad – genetics are really cool. Some day you’ll see one of your children with a certain expression or one will do something that will remind you of your Uncle – and you’ll know he’s still with you.

  25. I’m so sorry, Sarah.

  26. Sarah, I’m sorry for your loss.

    I think it’s perfectly okay to believe in Heaven, if only for comfort. There’s no need to give us a disclaimer about not practicing a religion. We understand how conflicting religion can be. Especially me. I struggle with it more than people realize.

    I think having a notion of Heaven or a “promised land” is a great coping mechanism for grief, too.

    And it’s never to late to believe in a religion if you so choose either, no one has the right to say that if you didn’t before, you cannot now.

    It’s all about what feels comfortable to you.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time.

  27. Sorry for you loss, and I totally understand your feelings.

  28. I know the feeling – it would be a lot easier to believe.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  29. i’ve had a lot of days like that. sometimes i wish i would have grown up with religion–any religion! it just seems, through all the negativity that i’ve come to connect with organized religion, that at the end of the day, people of faith are equipped to deal with pain and sadness on a level that i will never be.
    it must be a real comfort, to people who truly have faith in their lives.
    alas, i am not one of them…in times like these, i bust out a bottle of vodka and cry with my friends. that is my church, i guess.

    i’m sorry to hear about your loss. here’s to hoping you’ve got a bottle of vodka around somewhere…

  30. I’m sorry for your loss, Sarah. I agree with Suebob-if believing that your uncle is in a “better place” or whatever makes it easier for you to deal with his death, then that’s what you should do.

  31. My deepest sympathy, Sarah.
    I can completely relate to this post. I lost my uncle about 12 years ago. He was the first person that I was really close to who passed. I’m not a religious person either, and that never really bothered me until he died. For him I truly wish I believed in a heaven.

  32. oh sarah my thoughts are with you. i never got to meet uncle howie but i wish i did. take care my sweet. love britt

  33. I’m so sorry to hear about your uncle, Sarah. I have the same issue regarding heaven — but I find comfort in knowing that my loved ones live on in my memories. (This is also how I explain it to my kids, which so far they seem to accept with little question.)

  34. Most times I am not sure what I believe in either, but I look around and wonder “Well, all this HAD to come from SOMEWHERE.” I tend to lean towards the fact that God does exist, and evolution was all in his plan somehow. I am not sure what awaits us after this life, but I can’t help but think there must be SOMETHING. I hope there is anyway.

  35. I like to think that people go where they hope they’ll end up (well, most people who aren’t polluters or pedophiles- they don’t deserve to have dreams come true in death– sorry).

    I want to end up as ashes at the bottom of the ocean. I hope I get my wish. I’m sure your uncle got his wish, too.

  36. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope things are better now that preschool is upon you and you have some time to yourself.

  37. Oops. I realize that last comment was both late and stupid. Sorry about that. I am really sorry for your loss….

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