Yesterday I awoke sobbing from a terrible dream. In this dream my husband was killed and I was forced to live my life without him, surrounded by everyone that we used to spend time with together, and everything we used to do together. It had been a little while since he had passed and I was trying to move forward and do normal things but I couldn’t take being surrounded by friends that didn’t understand the pain, so I lay my head in my hands and broke into painful sobs. That is when I awoke, with a horrible tightness in my chest, a choking feeling in my throat, and tears soaking my face. I couldn’t help but continue sobbing, awakening my poor confused husband. I can’t think of a time that I’ve ever awoken so painfully. The worst part about it was that when I woke up I had the feeling that my husband was gone and I was alone – the exact same feeling that I had in my dream when my husband was gone, I was feeling while I was awake. I am so completely grateful that I have never had to experience a loss so painful; I pray that I never do, and I pray for those people that have experienced a great loss.
Alas, I am not writing this because I desire to explain how horrible it was for me, because, thankfully, it was just a feeling. I am writing about it because it was an extremely important reminder for me that I wish to share. I have realized, as most people have, that it is far too easy to get caught up in life and forget to slow down and appreciate your surroundings and blessings. Lately, I have been making a huge effort to slow down and take in my life and this beautiful world we live in. All to often I forget to appreciate that I have a best friend, a best friend who lives with me, supports me, makes me laugh, and understands me entirely, and I take his beautiful presence for granted. Thanks to that dream I am aware of a taste of what it might be like if he passed away, and I don’t want to take him, or anything else in my life for granted. It is easy to say, but hard to do. I try to reflect at least once a day on what I appreciate and on what am grateful for, so hopefully that will help to remind me throughout my life to appreciate this life that I am blessed to live.
The dream also reminded me of something that is extremely valuable to me, and probably would be the only thing that would help me get past an incident such as the one in my dream – my faith. I believe that when I married my husband, our souls were united together as one, and will be for eternity, through this life and beyond. I also believe that the reason that I exist in this world is because of God, the Creator of this world, and this life is a preparation for the next. I believe that when our bodies cease to exist in this world, our souls move closer to God and it is supposed to be extremely beautiful. So, although I really do not know what happens exactly, when we die, I have faith that wherever we go is a beautiful place and it is not sad or scary. The philosopher in me, also tells me, that if my belief is incorrect and there is actually simply nothing after we die, then there is just that, simply nothing, and that is nothing to fear, because we will not feel pain or sadness, just nothing. Thus, although I believe that after this life there is something far more beautiful to come, even if I am wrong, there is probably nothing to fear.
So, of course I cannot say that I would not be in pain if a loved one, such as my husband passed away, but thankfully I believe that I would be able to take comfort in my beliefs about what comes after this life. Death is imminent in this world, there is no one that has lived on earth for eternity. Thus, I personally feel as though the fact that death is imminent, makes death a lot less scary. Another point I wanted to make is that we are so sheltered from death, here in north america. And of course, as much as that is a wonderful thing, it also makes it a lot more difficult for us to cope with death because we don’t see it often. But, it is a part of life, we all must live, and we all must die, so, I believe, we must develop beliefs about the afterlife that give us comfort in this life. Even if we are all wrong and it is empty and painful, would it not be better to wait and just feel that pain if it happens? Since we really cannot know what happens when we die, would it not be better to hold beliefs about the afterlife that make this life more enjoyable? Although that is not the reason that I believe in the afterlife, sometimes it helps to look at things logically/philosophically and see that certain religious beliefs are practical as well.
For those of you that took the time to read this long post, I’m sincerely grateful. I hope you will respond and share your beliefs and/or thoughts in the comment box below.
“O Son of the Supreme! I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendour. Why dost thou veil itself therefrom?”
– Baha’i Faith, Hidden Words