Sunday, 8 August 2010

We'll all end up dead.

Tell me where's your hiding place?
I am worried I'll forget your face
And I've asked everyone
I am beginning to think I imagined you all along
Arctic Monkeys : Cornerstone

I was planning to write another posting today. Something fun and light-hearted. Maybe about the night out with girls a few nights ago, with pink champagne and endless discussions about good-looking firemen. I guess I could still do it another time. But this morning my plan disappeared when my mother came downstairs and said she had a sad dream.

‘It was as if I was in Baku...’ She said...’And the weather was not very good. Too windy, too miserable...So I thought: What could I do? Ah, I could get a nice chocolate eclair for myself! So I went to the bakery shop and it was busy in there, and I kept looking and then, suddenly, I thought what am I doing? Why don’t I buy a big cake and take it to my mum’s and sister’s place? They would be so excited! Why didn’t I think of it before?‘

But of course,  she then woke up and remembered that there was nobody to take the cake to. Because, unfortunately, both my grandmother and my aunt died a few years ago.

Does it get any easier with years? I guess it does in a way. You don’t walk around crying all day long in public, making everyone around you feel awkward. But sometimes at night, when you relax and fall asleep, your memories take over.

I was listening to her telling me about this dream and I had nothing to say. I could only nod in understanding.
Because I, myself, often get similar dreams. But even if  I stay blissfully unaware whilst asleep, I always have to wake up in the end.

I am reading “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins right now. And he spoke of people who find comfort in telling themselves they would meet their loved ones on the other side. The question is how many of those people truly believe that we survive our death, and how many just try to convince themselves it is possible? If people believed there was a life, perhaps a better one, after this one, would they not just be thrilled to be dying or watch their relatives pass away? Would they not be saying ‘See ya later, grandpa!’ instead of crying and getting upset?

And this morning, I wished I could tell my mother something like that. I wished I were that kind of person- infantile enough?- to honestly believe that there is something beyond this life that I could assure her about. And I mean, really believe it. Not wish that it was true. Not pretend and convince myself. But truly think that it was the case. As for me, I just think there isn’t anything. One day we are alive, and another we just disappear. It is hard for me to accept, just like for anyone else. But we all find our consolation somehow. That is just the way we cope. And for me, one bizarre consolation came, unexpected, from my cousin. Once, a while ago, when I saw an old babushka walking down the road, and she reminded me of my grandmother who I still miss terribly, I got really upset and texted my cousin.

‘Oh, stop being so stupid!’ She replied in her usual abrupt, short manner. ‘We'll all end up dead sooner or later.’

‘True.’I thought. And that concept, somehow, comforted me.


  1. I can't tell you what happens with us after we die. What I can tell you is that I miss terribly my beloved departed. I don't know if I'll see them in the afterlife, but I can tell you I can feel them right now, with me, every day.
    Call it hope or consolation. Maybe it's just human nature.

  2. Death can take away the body but never the good memories.

  3. @ Scary: "The question is how many of those people truly believe that we survive our death, and how many just try to convince themselves it is possible? If people believed there was a life, perhaps a better one, after this one, would they not just be thrilled to be dying or watch their relatives pass away?"

    Christians (like some fervent Muslims you can still find today) did originally embrace death. For instance, a group of Christians once approached the Roman governor C. Arrius Antoninus, demanding he execute them for their faith. He did kill a few, but this still left the others dissatisfied. "You wretches!" he raged at them, "If you want to die, you have cliffs to leap from and ropes to hang by!" It's difficult to imagine modern Christians participating in such an exchange!

  4. @Mark: Of course, there are some people who really think that! Otherwise, there would not be any suicide bombers in our world.

  5. Just to say I don't think suicide bombing would stop by everyone stopping believing in heaven. There is two reasons I think that. One reason is a documentary baout the Cuban Revolution in the 50s before the Pali suicide bombings. Two businessmen were talking and one said to the other."Don't go to Cuba man, there's Castro's suicide bombers everywhere" Castro's Communists sure didn't believe in heaven. So why the suicide bombing? Because they deemed death freedom, the only way out of what they saw as American economic tyranny. It's an act of desperation albeit some people passing it off as devotion.

    Another reason why I don't think it's just the heaven thing is because I've seen a sort of documentary about a brother and sister arguing due to him wanting to do a suicide attack.

    Sister: How can you be sure you'll go to heaven?
    Brother: I can't. I don't know if there is a heaven
    Sister: So why do it then? What if you go to Hell?
    Brother: I'm already there. If there is Hell I'll just be swapping one with another.

    Basically, when people loose the will to live out of desperation whether Cuban or Arab they may commit this due to the I've got nothing to loose and I'll help the defence logic. Weird but pragmatic somehow
    I was suprised to learn suicide bombing existed before Arafat

  6. @Anonymous: That is not always the case.
    In London bombings, the young guys who were on the suicide mission were not in "hell", and had a lot to lose. They lived in the UK, had families, some had kids, wives...future...The main reason they were prepared to throw it all away was their faith. I am sure there are some cases when it has more to do with desperation than devotion, as you say. But I am convinced that if you were to get some data on how many atheists blow themselves up compared to religious people, you would find not many. :)