Repost from 2012: The Fear of Death

As I noted and explained in my original “Fighting the Darkness” post, this whole ordeal has put my faith into a terrible period of testing and doubt.

I had seen so many signs that God wanted me to be friends with Richard, that God had brought us together so Richard could lead me into Orthodoxy and I could help his family.

But as I’ve already noted, I discovered that apparently God had brought me into friendship with a dangerous, violent narcissist and his malignant narcissist/borderline personality disordered wife.

I start thinking, “What if it’s all a lie and all religion is false and everyone who dies goes into nothingness, goes into darkness, vanishes forever?”  I don’t want to vanish forever.  I want my consciousness to live on.

Atheists don’t seem to realize that their message of “no Hell, no Heaven, this is all we get” is not the message of happiness and freedom they think it is.  They don’t seem to understand why more people don’t pound down their door wanting this.

Even John Lennon didn’t get it, writing those lines in “Imagine”–imagine there’s no Heaven above us, no Hell below us–as if it would somehow free the human race from its woes.

On the contrary, such a message brings horror and fear of death to most.  We want to leave this place and go to a better one, with no sickness or woe, where justice is meted out for the people who hurt others without regret and without punishment.

Where a poor little child whose last moments were of terror, molestation and murder, finds herself in a land of bliss, warmth, love and comfort.

Where we will once again see the smile of that long-lost mother, son, husband, friend, and not have them lost to us forever.

I want to live; I want to see what happens after I leave this earth.  I don’t want to lose myself forever.  I don’t want my consciousness to vanish into nothingness.  I don’t want to fall asleep and never wake up, in a place where even dreams cease.

I don’t want my dreams and the stories I played out in my childhood, to be lost forever.

This morning I had another dream of death, of terror at the thought of going into darkness forever.  I have these now and then.  One vivid dream took place at a cemetery during a funeral.

I am comforted by the teaching of classical churches that this is not a sin, that it doesn’t mean I lose my salvation, that it’s not even a sign of weakness.

On the contrary, I was told it’s a sign of a mature faith, as long as you keep in the church, keep doing the things you’re supposed to do.

Mother Theresa went through this for most of her life, as has been documented.  Other saints of the church have, as well.

I was even told that many priests have moments of wondering as they go through the service, “Is this all for nothing?”  In fact, it has a name: The Long Dark Night of the Soul.

But there are churches which would drive you further into spiritual despair by telling you that you’re gravely sinning by questioning, by doubting.  It’s yet another reason to run from those churches and into the arms of Orthodoxy.

 

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Struggling through waves of grief over Dad’s passing

My dad died last August.  I was at his bedside.  Then came the funeral, I went home, and it was back to my own life.

I had a lot to do: We had a cat in failing health peeing all over the basement, so every day I had to clean up after her multiple times.  The tub/surround desperately needed replacing, and that required contractors, lots of $$$, and a loan.  Hubby wanted me to deal with that, and it took some time.  I’m working on a novel that requires extensive research.  And of course, there’s typical life stuff: housework, kid’s school, church, club, etc.

In the midst of all that, a large group of obsessive trolls began stalking me on and off.

But now the tub is finally replaced, with beautiful new tiling.  The trolls lost interest.  The cat is, unfortunately, now passed, leaving me with much less work to do in a day.

And now my brain is starting to force the grief upon me.  I didn’t try to push it away before: I just had stuff to do and had to focus.  But for a long time, details of being by my dad’s bedside, and then losing my dad, were kept in a little spot in my brain, because they were too painful and disturbing.  But now the grief’s been coming out, over and over again.

At night, I sometimes dream about death.  Much of it is about my own mortality, the old fear arising yet again that death is truly the end, that the atheists are right and we go to nothingness.  The fear of the end of Me.

Just the other night (this was written March 25), I dreamed of someone whose eyes were forced open after he died (yeah, I know it’s usually the other way, but this was a dream).  Somebody said that brain waves continue after death unless your eyes are propped open: Then they stop.  This made me wonder if forcing the eyes open meant that you truly went to nothing, while before you still were alive someplace.  I wondered if forcing the eyes open meant interference, truly killing someone.  It freaked me out, and I woke up.

I dream about life slipping away, aging, faster and faster all the time, looking back and longing for youth.  I dream of my son’s life passing too fast.

Two months ago, I dreamed about my dad.  I wrote it down, and decided to use it in my novel.  I’m not sure if I want to write it here, or just let the world see the fictionalized version.  Maybe I already did write it here, but forgot.  But it was upsetting.

I constantly imagine the death of someone who has just died, whether in reality or fiction: not going to Heaven, but going to endless sleep.  I remember myself in surgery a couple of years ago, going up onto the table, then suddenly nothing until I woke up later on.  I imagine it being like that, but without waking up.

I remember details of my dad’s death.  I begin to whimper.  I remember he’s gone, that it’s all over.  I wonder if I will ever see him again, or if the afterlife is all just a fanciful dream we fool ourselves with.  (The atheists don’t seem to understand why we don’t find their version of death appealing or their message comforting.)  I could swear it was only just, say, my college years and he was driving me home for Christmas Break.  Or that I could still call him up on Father’s Day or his birthday.

I hear something or see something on TV that reminds me of my dad’s last hours, and it floods back.

Then I shake it off because I have to go on.

I recently told my husband something of this, because we just realized the cat was dying, and we were watching for the signs.  After checking the Internet to find out what they were, I realized she was probably in pain as well, but hiding it.  It reminded me of how my dad suffered, and watching for signs that he was about to leave us.  My husband said I needed a vacation.  Yet the house keeps needing to be cleaned, meals need to be cooked, bills need to be paid….While the grief and the mid-life crisis continue in the background….

 

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Freaked Out by Near-Miss This Morning

Every once in a while, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ll have a dream about death, funerals, and the like.  Not only is this the dread of every person, the thing which all creatures resist, but as of late (as in, the past 7 years) this has been a periodic preoccupation: What if the atheists are right, what if this really is all there is and one day I will cease to be, not just physically but my soul as well?

This morning, I had another dream–not about death, but in a dorm room full of otherwise cheerful people was a section with a sort of funeral parlor, and somebody’s urn.  So when I woke for church, this dream got me thinking, What if this were my last day on Earth?  As I got ready, the thoughts kept coming back: What if we get into an accident on the way to church?

Since such thoughts do come occasionally yet nothing happens, I try to disregard them, consider them just imaginings, not in any way a foreboding.  It is, after all, a very real threat to all living beings, that something unforeseen will happen, but usually it does not.  But I got into the car and thought, What if this, a cold morning in a cold car, is my last?  (My husband was driving.)

As we passed the big display/sign of a local college, I saw the time, 9:47, and thought, what if that’s my last….You get the picture.  I tried to discount these as silly thoughts, because while such things do happen to people all the time, you’re far more likely to get through the day as usual.

I have had precognitive dreams in the past about other things, especially in the couple of years after the mental Link with my ex Peter.  Some people have doubted the Link existed, but Peter claimed it did, it happened after he hypnotized me with a crystal, and for a while we seemed to hear each other’s thoughts and feel each other’s pain.  If it was real and not him fooling me, it probably opened up my mind psychically for a while.

But I have not had precognitive dreams for many years, probably because–even though my pastor believed in psychic ability, since it links us to God–I feared that Peter and I had been getting into demonic areas, so I turned away from all psychic things.

In the IRC conversation in which Richard explained how he hypnotized me without my knowledge, I mentioned that Peter hypnotized me with a crystal; Richard replied, “A crystal?  Oh lawdy.  He was using New Age hypnotherapy, drawing energy from the sources to alter your perceptions, aka demonic.”

So not only was it possible that we did indeed have a mental link, thanks to this hypnotism, but that God and my own fear helped pull me out of it and away from demonic influences.

So the psychic abilities I seemed to have for a while after the Link ended, I have not felt in many, many years.  And I have death dreams far too often to take them seriously.

I turned to look at the sign as we passed, trying to see the temperature.  Then all of a sudden, as I turned back, my husband slammed on the brakes!

He thought he had the green light; a car was turning right in front of us, not stopping.  For a moment, I thought it was a foreboding after all.

We got out of it all right.  The brakes worked; nobody slammed into us; both cars just kept on driving on.

And I quietly freaked out, wondering…..Was that what my forebodings were all about?

Which also begs the question: If it was indeed a foreboding, then can such prophecies be diverted?  In other words, I could very easily have died, but because my husband acted fast enough with instinct, none of us even got hurt.  So they are not set in stone, but are warnings so we can change the future.

Whatever the case, that was frickin’ freaky.  And I’m so glad I’m sitting here typing this instead of in a hospital bed–or worse.

 

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