I have a lot of friends who are atheists. I have never proclaimed to be particularly strong in my faith and have most definitely never had an evangelical spirit. My mind and heart are full of questions...questions that once had answers in my younger years that I felt certain and sure of. I thought faith was supposed to grow stronger as you got to know yourself better, but it seems the better I know myself the less certain I am about things like religion, Jesus, God and the afterlife. I believe there is a God. I believe we go somewhere after all of this. I really really believe in angels. But I don't have the concrete visions or ideas that I used to.
I find as I struggle actively now against the massive changes life has brought that my lack of certainty and clear vision both cushions me and causes angst. I want to know where Joseph is. And yet I find...the more concise I get about letting him be in heaven in my perceptions, the harder my heart hurts every day with the certainty I will not see him again in this lifetime. Yet when I refuse to see him in heaven (and thus somehow feel I am still holding him here with me) I cannot deny he is NOT here with me and then I hurt from wondering where he is and worrying about him. I am coming to the conclusion that I have put a lot of effort into trying to hang on to him...and yet now as I try to make something of my life that will give dignity and bear witness to the knowledge gained through all of our suffering I recognize I will have no peace about his death until I let him have died.
When Dad passed, I knew right away he went on to a better place. I had a very clear visit from him in a dream and I have felt his presence near to me many times. And I yearn for those visions and feelings from Joseph. But I have to let him be in heaven to receive those blessings. And I don't want him to be in heaven. I want him to be here. It is a mental conundrum that I am hard pressed to turn right side up, to sit down in front of me and make myself face and accept. I think I am a pretty tough broad. I think I can see and face a great deal of hardship with a resolve of steel. But I melt before this, shaken to my core. He's gone. I dissolve any time someone says it aloud. Joseph. is gone.