Thank you, Hazel. This is exactly the kind of sanctimonious bullshit they really should teach you about in church.

I’m super happy you’ve come to terms with people dying. Perhaps the next time someone is in pain over losing someone they love, you could just stick with “I’m sorry you’re sad.” and leave out the whole speech about “a better place.”

Because, you see, my grief is not for my father, who was in terrible pain before he died. I’m happy he doesn’t hurt anymore. My grief is for all the moments my children and I will never spend with him. My grief is for the people left behind. I’m sad because he’s not here. Not because he’s “gone to glory”

I would like to think your response was intended to relieve my pain in some way, but what it came off as was more along the lines of the invalidation of it.

I shouldn’t be sad because Heaven. You don’t have to be sad because you are safe against disappearing into the ground because you’ve been dunked in the water and washed away your sins and you believe in the unseen and unproven existence of a world that can only be accessed by those who believe in it.

You also seem to believe that *I* don’t believe in it or else I wouldn’t be grieving, I would be rejoicing, HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE LORD!!!

But here’s the thing: existing things exist independent of my beliefs. I refuse to believe that if there is an omnicient being watching over us, that it is basing entrance to a glorious place where we live forever surrounded by all who love us on whether or not my puny human brain was able to wrap my mind around the enormity of that possibility in this finite lifetime.

Did I help those in need of help? Did I comfort those who needed comfort? Did I stick out my hand and accept what this lifetime asked of me? Was I kind? Was I sincere? Did I treat others the way I wanted to be treated? These things matter NOW, and if they are not what matter when I leave this life, then the place I would be going isn’t somewhere I want to be anyway.

That place sounds an awful lot like more of the same, to me.

How about you, Hazel? When people came to you, broken, did you try to help them recover their wholeness in that moment? Or did you proselytize to them, telling them that today may be unbearable, but that if they would do certain things to change themselves--walk YOUR walk, so to speak--that SOMEDAY, God’s perfect kingdom would be waiting for them?

Because really, how is that going to quench a dying man’s thirst? No offense, but only a drink of water today is going to do that.


I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store