I wish I could be religious

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Dealing with the death of a loved one as an atheist.

Submitted: September 22, 2015

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Submitted: September 22, 2015



I’m not religious but I damned sure wish I could be. I wish I could imagine a place where his chest still rises and falls with each warm breath exiting his lips. I wish I could believe his intense yet soft eyes still watched over me. I wish with all of my heart that I could believe that somewhere in this everlasting stretch of miserable existence his pure essence still remains.


I wish I could picture him anywhere besides burned to ashes locked inside of a beautiful box decorated with pictures and candles in his mother's home. I don’t imagine him taking soft warm breaths, instead I dream of his cold stiff hand in mine as he lay there lifeless. I dream of his freshly abraded face concealed with thick makeup, and the odd texture I felt as I traced my lips over his for the last time.


I do not envision him at a place where he gets to have everything he ever wanted. I don’t envision him anywhere at all. He is dead and is nowhere besides in the sweet memories that I have now learned to cherish. The sweet memories that gradually dissipate as time goes on, until one day completely diminish along with myself. As of now he only remains by the lingering memories of others, which in time will pass and he will be forgotten entirely with no remaining eminence whatsoever.


I deeply envy those who are religious. I deeply envy anyone who can lose a loved one and truly believe they still exist. I remember distinctly watching his family surround his corpse and talk to him as though he were able to hear. They wept and mourned but reassured each other that he was in a better place, and I watched as they were comforted with the thought. All the while I wanted to scream because I was brought no comfort at all by those words. Instead I was made entirely uncomfortable because in my own mind he was laying right in front of us, he was nowhere else. The neurons in his brain were no longer firing, and the heart in his chest was no longer pumping. There was nothing left of him. They got to cry for themselves because they believed he was okay, while I wept for him because I knew he would never have anything else.


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