Last week, I dreamed that I saw Jesse on the street. I caught up with him and offered him his glasses. He smiled and said, no, I don't need them any more, Mom.
It wasn't till I woke up that I realized why.
Maybe part of me is finally learning that he's really gone. I find it hard to let go of that insane wish that he come back. You'd think that insanity was my only hope of sanity. The psychiatrist said it would be easier on me if I had a religion. Why? I said, because Jesse was an atheist, and no religion I know of would let him into heaven anyway. I'd rather nothing than eternity without him and his brother.
What is the psychiatrist's view of religion? She seems to think it's helpful, even though she agrees with me that it's got all the earmarks of a neurosis. There's nothing in reality that proves or is conditional on the existence of an afterlife or God. You can only hope or believe it's so. Reading the Bible only shows you that the concept of God is tied heavily to the civilization who imagined it. If God were an objective reality, he might have mentioned knowledge of the world that the Israelites didn't have-- oddly God seems innocent of the very physics of the world he created, with all the talk of firmaments and suns rising and setting. And, jeeze, what a petulant, destructive asshole that God is. Have you read Job? But if it's a neurosis that helps you adapt to the harsh reality that we all die, is it necessarily harmful? Why is any particular religion better than just picking what you want to believe and fleshing it out as you go?
People who believe in the intervention of God puzzle me now. Do they think Jesse was a bad person, so God let him die early of a rare disease? Am I evil because God didn't answer my prayers and let him live? Believe me, I begged everyone I knew to pray for him in any form they could. I believe they did. Were all of my friends and family too evil for God to listen to? Do people really believe there is a greater good being served by Jesse's death? That God "works in mysterious ways?" If God can't or won't intervene, then all we can do is accept what God has to offer us, and be thankful it's not worse. Nice place you got here, but what's the point?
Jesse would have loved this discussion.