There is no question in my mind that what we are is only a miniscule speck in a complicated web of intricate dependencies and connections. For many people, this defines the concept of God or some other higher being who was in fact “human-like”. I wasn’t raised in a religious environment, and as a result, I always have, and probably always will be trying to figure out how much faith I have in things beyond my control. I believe our ability to jump through life’s hurdles is by developing a foundation of beliefs that we can turn to when we need them. My mom grew up in a very religious environment. Every Sunday morning, Wednesday evening, holidays, and special occasions were spent a the Lincoln Avenue Baptist Church. She was raised to put her faith in God and to understand that everything happened for a reason. These teachings remained with her until a divorce left her on her own with a baby to raise. “Perhaps,” she explained, “this is the reason that I stopped going to church. I felt that I had to focus on too many other things to get by, and it seemed that church had let me down.” As a result, I was raised in an almost non-religious environment. Sundays were “just the two us days”, Wednesdays were just “hump days”, and holidays were spent at home. Up until a January of 2007, I had never lost anyone close to me, and as it stood, I didn’t really need an explanation of what happened to people after they passed. In the time since then, I lost my Grandpa to prostate cancer. The day he died, was the day, in my mind, I had to define where he would remain. I had to decide if I believed in heaven, or what an idea like that meant to me, or if I believed in the afterlife? I had to decide if my foundation included heaven, and if it didn’t, what did it include? Immense tragedy can often force people like my mom to lose sight of the beliefs instilled in them from childhood, and the effects wore off on me as I was growing up. It wasn’t until my grandpa’s death that I really had to get a grasp on where people went when they passed. It wasn’t until I saw a movie called “A Secret Affair” in which a woman who believes she has lost the love of her life to an angry war, explains to his daughter that “heaven is having other people hold you in their hearts.” That was how I wanted to remember my grandpa because I was finally able to put into words what my “self” felt was heaven. In one woman’s effort to convey that no one is ever lost after they die, I was comforted and given a piece of my foundation.
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