Trigger warning ahead.
It’s hard to write after such a tragedy. I’ve spent the best part of the last week trying to figure out how to write an obituary that perfectly encapsulates my friend, but each time I’ve sat down to write I’ve struggled to fight back tears. Maybe it’s too soon for me to be talking about him in the past tense, or maybe it’s because I know how young he was and how much of this life he’ll never get to experience.
There’s also the selfish part of me that’s upset that all his knowledge and personality is gone forever. Religious/spiritual types can talk themselves hoarse all they want trying to reassure me that I’ll see him again in the afterlife or whatever, but I just can’t quite believe that myself. The same thing happened to me 10 years ago when my uncle passed away.
He and I were quite close (he was pretty much the father I really wanted) so when he died it began to raise a lot of questions about my own beliefs. I was kind of raised in Catholicism, with most of my extended family being quite devout, doing the whole church every Sunday plus confession. I went to catholic schools, where Catholicism was high on the curriculum. All the way through I felt like I should be a part of this, but something always gnawed at me about these religious bodies. So when my uncle passed away it finally felt like I knew once and for all: if there is a God he doesn’t care about us.
Additionally for me I never felt that there was any definitive proof of any divine presence in society. I’ve always felt that good and evil only exist because people either choose to do good things or choose to do bad things. There is no holy/demonic presence that influences a human being’s actions. To do otherwise is to shift responsibility away from the criminal or do gooder towards the supernatural. People do bad things, but people do good things. Nothing influences humanity other than humanity.
This is getting a bit ranty, and I apologise. I just find no comfort in people projecting their own beliefs onto my own grieving process. My best friend is dead. That’s it. I have to deal with it the way I need to deal with it, not by justifying his death in some holy cosmic plan. I have to learn to accept that he is gone and find a way to move on. I hope I can find the strength this week to finish the obituary, it’s the best way I know how to honour him with my abilities.