I was recently at a funeral and the thoughts that I had written a few days ago about grieving and the subsequent discussions we had resurfaced in my mind. As I was there listening to each person who spoke to the bereaved family and to all those present, it occurred to me that for most people, or rather for those who spoke, that this life is just a preparation for another life, a future life of bliss for those who follow the right god and damnation for everyone else. While this thought alone irks me, for why would a person who thinks his particular god is loving, also hold in the same brain that this god will punish others for eternity for not bending to his whims, forget that the said god is also said to be all-powerful.

There is a particular speaker who did say they believe, or rather their religion teaches, that if a child dies, they go straight to heaven and  encouraged the parents to stay on the path of the lord and they will be sure to go to heaven. He added, even though it is sad to lose a child, the parents should have cause to be happy for their child would at the required time refuse to go to heaven?unless all those she loved are in heaven. I have a problem with this line of thought for a few reasons

  1. If god cares that we go to heaven, and children head there straight away, why not ensure we all die as children?
  2. If to go to heaven, all one requires is the innocence of a child, why not just populate heaven?
  3. Why do people want to live after they have died? 

The other thing I no longer can reconcile myself to belief is that there is more after this life. There was a time, long ago I could have wanted it to be true but not anymore. The life we have here is temporal but it is the ONLY one we know and as far as we can tell the only one we will live. It is time imams, priests, church ministers and other fraudsters in the names of deities started to tell their followers the truth, and that truth is that life here is much more important that any other imaginary life. People must be told that death marks the end of their existence and they will go back to where they were before they were born. To accept this will go along way in making people look to this life in a different light, as a life worth living and that we need not make preparations for a future existence, especially since we did have to make preparations for this one.

If I should remember what others said, I will update this post… I promise 😛

Reflections on bereavement

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

16 thoughts on “Reflections on bereavement

  1. I’m assuming that this funeral was a Christian one. Depending on the variety of Christianity, there are a lot of problems in claiming children go straight to heaven. If original sin is true, then children go straight to hell since they have no opportunity to believe and accept in JC when they were alive. Catholics did the first adjustment to this nonsense by claiming that they would go to a “better” part of hell if they were children or “good” pagans since decent people do have a problem with assigning children and good people to this hell idiocy. Other versions of Christanity also have their own problems. If Calvinist Christianity is true, then it’s a random toss up if children go to heaven or not, depending entirely on this god’s whim. It is an entirely new version of Christianity that excuses children, and again we see that Christians don’t agree on much at all.

    It is amazing what the fear of death causes people to believe in.

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    • makagutu says:

      Oddly enough, it was a Muslim funeral where among other things, I saw how divisive religion is. Every imam who rose to speak had two sets of greetings, first for the Muslim faithful and then everyone else. Strange things indeed. I should have recorded them so that I would have an easy time preparing a transcript of what was said.

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      • Most intriguing, I see that Muslims do the same thing. Here’s a website that says that the children of Muslims automatically go to “paradise” – http://www.islam-qa.com/en/6496 They also go on about the age of accountability, which of course no one can agree on. Of course the qu’ran doesn’t appear to say anything about this at all, it’s only magic decoder rings of the imams.

        If one reads the link, one can see that Islam evidently is okay with burying girl babies alive and if they are buried alive, they go to hell. Those that bury them only go to hell if they don’t convert to Islam. It also seems that Islam, at least some TrueVersions of it, are all about predestination too.

        Whee, TrueChristians and TrueMuslims are just as ignorant and ridiculous at each other. Sigh…..

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        • makagutu says:

          Listening to both groups talk, you get the impression it were better to have them in a room to settle their differences before they get out to the world of adults

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  2. Mordanicus says:

    The concept of “after life” has been (ab)used by generations of rulers to quiet their subjects, by promising a reward for their obedience. No surprise there’s an unhealthy relationship between rulers and clergy.

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    • makagutu says:

      You say it well my friend. Pastors have used to ensure their followers tow the line of the church, the imams that the followers keep showing their other faces several times a day and so on!

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  3. ladysighs says:

    I don’t go to funerals. I just don’t. The last one I went to … I had to endure all 100 verses of The Old Rugged Cross.
    I think I will make some recordings that can be played at my own funeral…if anybody wants to have one for me. I’ll never know ’cause I won’t be there. 🙂

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  4. john zande says:

    Brilliantly put. You hit upon societies greatest fear, though. If people understand this is the only life they get they won’t be as easy to manipulate. Ordered societies require a great number of people to blissfully numb. If they were awake and alert and aware of the urgency the trains wouldn’t run on time.

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  5. aguywithoutboxers says:

    Well said, my Nairobi brother! Besides, one life is enough for me. Why repeat it again? Enough is enough! 🙂

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  6. lexborgia says:

    Dang, Mac, you been seriously stirring the pot recently. 1. If God really started ‘calling their children home’ on a mass scale, they’d turn on him in a twinkling of an eye. 2. I ‘thank God’ I live in a country where his people don’t bother me daily with their prayers. 3. About Africa needing God: what they’re really saying is Africa needs foreigners to run things, an insult and self directed accusation of inferiority. What is the OP anyway? A newspaper!!!

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    • makagutu says:

      I don’t see why people who are headed straight for heaven, if they are lucky, should be bothered by the bleak life of an atheist. I don’t see them living like this life here is a test. They cling to it and just like the rest of us.
      What is odd is the person saying Africa needs god is an atheist. He ought to have been a little honest and went further and stated what god, he preferred should visit Africa for there is no shortage of gods.
      Oh yes, if god was calling their children much more frequently, they would have several reasons to suspect he has become a tyrant and turn on him sooner.

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