My Journey Through Purgatory: The Ghost At The Cemetery

Ready. Set. Sail!

Death.

(For those of you who are grieving or in the process of losing a loved one, please don’t read this post. This won’t help you and it might be difficult to hear my opinion or potentially triggering. Don’t worry, I don’t need the Stats nor do I really care for them that much.)

 

 

To avoid breaking down into a sobbing mess while writing this post, I’m listening to Justin Bieber’s “Baby” right now. I find vapid meaningless pop music soothing and uplifting in a strange way.

Here goes.

One of my followers, a best friend and practically a brother to me, lost his father on November 8, 2015. A couple days after his birthday.

……

Cancer. A viscous metastatic cancer.

Ughhh….He didn’t deserve it and my friend doesn’t deserve to go through this level of heartache and suffering. No one does obviously. He was a good man. I was close to him. Flaws aside, he was a good man. Yes we didn’t want him to die so soon but death is inevitable.

As fitting as it is that I happen to be wandering through Purgatory right now, so apparently was he; meandering listlessly in the cold heavy medium that is neither peace nor sorrow. An avid Catholic man whose priest gave him the sacrament of reconciliation, I assume that means he is no longer wandering and is in heaven now. I’m not very clear how that process works nor do I care. I’m not Catholic and have never been. When I get around to writing down my life story (soon hopefully!), I’ll detail the impact religion, namely Orthodox Presbyterian (Protestant) beliefs, have both shaped and deformed me as a person. If there is a God, he/she is a cruel bully who shut the door on me when I came crawling on my knees, clothes tattered and worn, screaming for mercy at the top of my lungs! But it’s all part of his/her “grand plan” I’m not allowed to know about, right? So here I am. Unable to circumvent the whole disappointing scheme. I am unfit to enter the Kingdom of Heaven but not wicked enough to enter into eternal damnation in hell. Both in my mind and in my flesh, I am a phantom condemned to haunt the lonely roads through which I travel. Forsaken and past the point of redemption.

Clothed in a range of dark neutral colors are the mourners; scattered around the strawberry blonde wooden covering. Sitting atop a cold empty table is an urn, finely decorated with the emblem of The United States Army and the National Flag. Inside this urn is the cremated remains of a man who dedicated his life to his country, his family, and his God. Dedicated parishioner to his local church, loving father/grandfather/great-grandfather and husband, and a veteran with a 30+ year record of service to the Department of Defense Aircraft division under his belt. His final resting place will be adorned with military honors. The burial is very fitting for a man like that. A man I never got the chance to say goodbye to…

…moving onto One Direction…

…I’m very fortunate my psychiatrist let me back on 150mg of Wellbutrin. For some reason it’s taking forever to start kicking in again. I’m trying desperately to be there for my friend. But what can I say? There isn’t a way to genuinely say, “He is in a better place” because I’m not sure I believe in a better place. My mom called me earlier last week and she told me to say a bunch of religious bullshit to him. I didn’t. I was too bitter to open my mouth.

Where is God in all this? In this man’s death? In the Paris attacks? 129 deaths accredited to ISIS, a terrorist organization that glorifies and promotes violent rape of non-Islamic women. Or in my bipolar disorder for Christ’s sake? Where. Is. God?

No really. Where the fuck is God? Tell me!

…Miley Cyrus in her early years…

…I’m really trying NOT to trigger myself. When I heard the news of his death, coupled with the other life-and-death struggles another one of my followers is having, I went into a full-blown panic attack. This post has taken me a collective 8 hours to write! My heart is protecting me from the outburst of pain about to explode all over my living room. But. Maybe I need to stop holding it in.

…Fuck this stupid music!

You wanna know what’s going on in my head? You wanna know how I really feel? Well here goes.

FUCK GOD!

Yeah I said it. I’m angry. Really fucking pissed.

Or rather. There is no God. There is no God/Goddess/Deity of any kind watching over us. The sooner you swallow that 10,000,000 mg pill the better you’ll feel. Those of you who are religious followers, don’t you fucking dare write me any scripture verses. I can GUARANTEE you that after attending a Christian elementary and high school, volunteering and teaching at my local churches, going to a Nazarene college, and taken EVERY religious class from basic Bible stories to apologetics; I know what you’re going to say. SAVE. YOUR. BREATH.

I don’t wanna hear it and you don’t want my response. Trust me. Gimme a fucking chainsaw because I’ve lost my God damn mind!

This whole thing called life is pointless. Forest Gump is wrong. Life isn’t a box of chocolates. Life is an amalgamation of experiences both good and bad. They range in a countless spectrum of escapades from the breath-taking, awe-inspiring, wonderful, amazing, stunning, orgasmic to the horrible, repugnant, odious, sickening, ghastly, nasty, vile, and dreadful. And when all is said and done, when your last breath escapes your lips, you’re done. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. You are buried, cremated, etc.

As hard as this is for me, I just can’t get myself to believe that life has a supernatural purpose. Maybe a celestial one. I believe in the evolution of the species. I believe in the Big Bang. I believe in the theory of relativity.

Ughh…..I sound like a child. Right? A stubborn, angry child. But this is my blog. My post. So I suppose you are all standing by on pins and needles waiting for an insightful answer. Am I right? I’m so sorry. I don’t have an answer.

I told you I’m not the hero of my story. I’m not. I’m scared and heartbroken. I’m a child shaking my fist at the sky demanding an answer. I’m lost, angry, and alone.

I want a world without suffering. Is that too much to ask?

If you could only feel, as I type, the complete sorrow of my heart breaking into pieces. It feels like it’s being ripped out of my body. Johnny Cash says:

“I hurt myself today

To see if I still feel

I focus on the pain

The only thing that’s real.”

I’m not strong. I’ve lost faith. I’m frightened.

There really isn’t any difference between this post and any other post ranting about God. Shaking my fists at the sky and cursing isn’t doing me any good.

So what now? Whom do I direct my anger towards?

This isn’t going to help anyone. As I walk along this Trail, alone and frightened, angry about the past and resentful for the future, I notice something. A small flickering light. Not sure what it is. As I cautiously approach, it shies away. What is this glimmer that is so fragile and small?

Hope.

If that’s all there is, then that’s good enough for me.

As I stood there before the urn as the holy man said a prayer from a book of Christian prayers, dowsing the urn and its presence in holy water, I begin to let the light of hope in. While I’m not sure for what, I can feel the pervasive warmth of hope lighting up my heart. Maybe things will get better. My compass is broken again.

I’m sorry to disappoint everyone. I’m only human.

All I can do is hope. Because, “I will let you down/I will make you hurt.” (Hurt – Johnny Cash)


27 thoughts on “My Journey Through Purgatory: The Ghost At The Cemetery

  1. Obviously there is no god. Just as obviously, all we can do is love. Or hate. And be stubborn about our survival. Or not. It’s enough, either way. We get through tomorrow, or not, after all. How is that for a non-response? Goodnight!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have no answers to your questions. All I can say is that I understand your pain and your anger. I lost a child at the end of 2007 – I was angry with God too, but it was my faith in Him that got me through that heartbreak. And I’m sure you can imagine, there is no heartbreak quite like losing your own child. A sweet, innocent baby. I always thought if I ever lost a child that my mind would just snap and I would have to be institutionalised… That didn’t happen. Somehow, I just coped. Only just. But I coped. And I was eventually able to be “happy” again. I, personally, believe that was because of my faith, because I KNOW I’m not strong enough to have coped with losing my baby.

    I have no desire to preach to you my beautiful Jess. None whatsoever. Whether you believe or don’t believe is irrelevant to me, because it is you my heart desires to know. I’m not religious – but I am a born again Christian. I know, I know! “But you swear like a fucking trooper!” you say… And my response to you is, “Yes. Yes I do. Because I am who I am, and my relationship with God does not reside in books or teachings. Its a personal, one-on-one relationship. And He loves me. No matter what.”

    My belief is that when we start putting caveats on what Christianity looks like, or what Islam looks like, or what terrorists look like, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment, stereotyping, and fear-mongering (I just read an article about the last suicide bomber who was a woman – “she didn’t look like a suicide bomber” they said – I ask you, with tears in my fucking eyes, “What DOES a suicide bomber LOOK like? Do they present with some physical anomaly? Do they dress a certain way? Do they practice a certain religion?”

    Tarring a particular religion with the brush of those who have disappointed or misled you amounts to the same as stereotyping all mentally ill people as violent. Its the same thing. Its dangerous to make those assumptions, and more than that, it just perpetuates the stigma and the fear. And THAT is exactly what those in power want from us. Fear. To keep us in line.

    My God, the One that I believe in, and have a personal one-on-one relationship with… He doesn’t do that. He doesn’t make me fearful. He doesn’t threaten me with eternal damnation because I swear like a motherfucking trooper. Yes, really fucking crappy stuff has happened to me in my life…. But I’m human. Human shit happens to humans! I am not supernatural because I’m a believer! I’m not miraculously protected from the human condition because I’m born again.

    Reading through this again, its come across as a bit preachy, and for that I apologise. It has definitely not come from that space. I simply wanted to share my own experience of my faith – not religion. As I said before, I’m not religious. I’m just a human, who believes in a Creator. How ever that Creation looks – whether it was the Big Bang, or evolution – I have no objection to those theories, because as far as I’m concerned, God is unfathomable – and so therefore must his Creations be. We don’t even understand how WE work – how the human body works – how genes work – we know bits and pieces, but we don’t have all the knowledge about what it is to be human, right? So how can we expect to understand the unfathomable?

    I honestly hope that my response has not offended you. I would never want to do that. Ever. I respect you, I respect your hurt and your anger, and I respect your beliefs. I you xoxoxox

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I wish I could give this a proper response but I’m so angry, depressed, and hurt. But I’ll give you something because I feel like you want to know my reaction.

      I’m not offended by your post. Lola you are amazing. This isn’t preachy at all. You have a way with comments that is both bold and beautiful. And I’m glad you swear and are a loving open minded person.

      I feel terrible that I didn’t know you lost a child so recently. I can’t imagine how devastating that must’ve been because I don’t have kids. I’m so very sorry. When and if I decide to have kids, I hope I’m as strong and fun as you are. Between you, Claya, Dyane, Kitt, Nicole, and the many other BD moms on WP; I’m jealous.

      I wish I had your strength and faith. I’m so sad when I lost mine. I’m so bitter about this and I’m not sure if I can get back into it. But I don’t stereotype. Or at least I try not to. I have a lot of very fun liberal Christian friends. And fuck racist bastards.

      Thanks for not being the obnoxious Bible thumper. I’m going to take some time off work so when I write about my faith and loss maybe you can help me pinpoint where things fell off the deep end.

      Thanks again my friend. I love you too.

      FUCK BIPOLAR! 😲😲😲😲

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Been thinking about you all day… Wish I could offer you my shoulder to cry on – bundle you up in a little blankie, make you a yummy hot chocolate (with marshmallows), and watch silly, funny movies together.

        You’re wonderful, and your beautiful heart is evident in the pain you feel right now xoxoxox

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Jess, I am so glad that we have connected and that I have the honor of being your blogger friend and discussing so many things with you. You have not offended nor disappointed me, and if anyone is offended by your feelings, fuck em. Your hurt and anger is palpable and your reaction towards God is understandable. I will not preach anything to you, I only want to say I am glad you have that glimmer of hope, because often that is all that we can see. And it makes the difference between allowing despair to set in, and simply trusting in a hint of hope that you cannot quite see all of yet. I know you have lost your faith, but if you are ever interested in finding it again, I would feel privileged to help you on your search. That is all I will say on that, and I truly hope I have not offended or upset you with that. Lots of love.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks so much for the trigger warning – you didn’t make me feel bad/guilty for skipping reading it closely. I lost my Dad in 2009 and became suicidal & had to admit myself to the hospital, etc. so it’s a big thing for me…I’m very sorry for your friend’s loss. That looks so trite, but I truly mean it!!! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t consider it a gift or blessed -I hope I don’t offend anyone reading this, but I think bp is disgusting, evil, fucked-up, my girls and husband certainly think it sucks – as for Lucy, she can’t talk but I bet she’d shit on bipolar if she could!

        While yeah, there are nice creative things derived from bipolar, I’d rather be dull instead of wanting to….you know…..thanks for letting me rant! I’ll stop now. I promise. Please forgive me!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t know, Jess. If I didn’t have faith in something I’d blow my brains out right now. Why bother if there’s no reason to it? No. I remember that even chaotic mathematics has a pattern. I remember that energy can only be converted. It’s a thin blanket, but it works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve heard that argument before. I used to use it all the time. I’m not about to get into an ecclesiastical debate with you. Not now especially. Not in the state I’m in. Most of that was written out of anger and not necessarily true. I’m either a disappointed Christian or an agnostic at best. I don’t really know at the moment. Focusing on surviving right now. Glad you have a blanket. I’m sincerely jealous.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Didn’t want to raise an argument, just put in my two cents worth. I’m actually reluctant to discuss my beliefs because…well, they’re mine and I don’t expect anyone else to understand. I hope you can find a blanket for yourself; something to hold onto. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Kind of ironic that as I tweeted this post, I wrote “She writes like an angel” after you spend most of the post discussing your disgust of organized religion, or more specifically the existence of a God. I won’t get into that with you. I’m not well enough versed in the Bible or any such tangible piece of literature written by man.
    It’s weird reading everything you have to say, and desperately wanting to make you feel better, but knowing from experience that nothing can be said, and all I can do is just be here for you, and pray (yes, pray!) that you’ll come out of the darkness. Meanwhile, we travel the same lonely black tunnel, neither one of us able to reach out to the other. I love you. Keep writing and touching lives…or at least touching mine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was really angry when I wrote that. My med combo drove me crazy. I threw shit. I yelled at receptionists. I was extremely agitated. I’ll take that compliment of writing like an angel. Thank you for that. I told bp709 that I’m either a disappointed Christian or an agnostic at best. I don’t know. Hard to care. Glad you are still reading and liking my posts. I wish you were here to help me. Your so kind online I can’t imagine how warm and loving you are in real life. I’ll keep writing if only for you.

      Like

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