A Non-Theist, Murder/Sucide and God; Learning to Grieve Without Faith

I checked my friend's Facebook account tonight. He has quite a few personal messages from other friends, remembering, some with words like stunned and shocked and others with words like sad and angry. Many left things saying "this isn't goodbye, Ill see you again" or, "I hope you're at peace wherever you are." And yet what struck me the most was that little text box at the top of his comments section. It said "write something...". I clicked my mouse in the entry field and typed "Isn't it funny that you can type something here, in this space, for someone who is no longer here? Everyone but the person for whom the message is intended will read it. That person who I'm 'writing something to' is gone. This is just a web page."

I didn't post the message. I deleted it. I thought about posting it, and I thought about posting something less wordy, just a "I'm sorry that your pain took your life", or "I'll remember you for what you were, not how you ended up". But really, there's no reason. I don't believe he's reading the posts from heaven, or hell. I just believe he's dead. And no longer capable of reading his Facebook page.

Most of you who are reading this blog right now are very aware that I'm a non-theist and feel strongly about it. But, it bears mentioning as I have traveled on a spiritual road these past two weeks, one where I had to revisit my beliefs and non-beliefs to process my grief. To find closure, and to cleanse my soul of their marriage, which I helped to facilitate, with my own words and my own hands. I reached that place where humanity and reason do not tread; where faith steps in. I was there, sick with an inbalace of soul and the desire for a spiritual answer, one that suggested that nothing is in our control. And that only made me angrier.

And I just can't let him off like that. I'm angry because of his selfishness. I'm livid because I watched a beautiful woman with two beautiful children die fighting for her life. I'm disgusted because I lost a friend two years ago to ice and Mother Nature before he even graduated high school. I'm pissed for the five other childhood friends who lost their lives to tragic accidents, and the few I knew of but did not know. For the mothers, fathers and babies I read about through online friends. They didn't get the choice. And he did. And that's on him; not his wife, his therapist, me, or God. He pulled the trigger twice. And he ended their lives, forever.

I can't leave messages on his Facebook profile. Because he won't get them. But I understand why people do, much better than I did before. The pain is something no one should feel.

Firemom posted a blog a few weeks ago containing this quote:

“It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others”
– John Kirinrich

And that's not the whole answer, but it's the idea.

2 people's thoughts:

Anonymous,  January 31, 2009 at 6:46 AM  

It's hard to accept people's suicide to begin with. We've talked about that. I can't imagine having to deal with a murder. Because it is on a different level. I couldn't agree with you more.
Same goes for leaving messages for the dead. I can see a handwritten journal entry, something in their grave but never something as mundane as a web page. It just doesn't feel right.

Even though I have some sort of religious faith, I agree that it is very hard to deal with things like these. Death happens. It will always happen. It will happen when we expect it and it will happen without the slightest clue. It will feel alright and it will feel wrong and there is really nothing to do about it. Maybe believing in God would make it easier. To imagine heaven and the deceased's happiness. But maybe it's dealing with it in all it's truth and brutality that shows our strength.
Although I gotta admit that sometimes being strong really sucks...

X January 31, 2009 at 8:35 PM  

I read this after we got home tonight. Being in Concord, I was thinking a lot about Jason on the way home, and its funny, but a lot of what I'd come up with is reflected in ways in this post. I guess I just can't get past the idea that he knew what he was doing, and that he still did it. I am so sorry that he felt it was the only way out, but I am having a hard time grieving the suicide because the murder keeps getting in the way. Its such a big, stupid waste.

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