Grieving without religion


Grief does not just surround death. 

I grieve for the things that Corry has had to, and will continue to miss out on. I grieve for the life I once imagined for him. I grieve whist I watch his peers meeting milestones. When I see them running and playing like Corry should be. I grieve when the deterioration we are told he can expect, actually presents itself.  

It’s painful. 

It hurts. 

I sometimes go for days having limited contact with anyone, for fear I won’t stop myself breaking down in front of them. It is hard to know what to do with such feelings. Where to put them. How to work with them. 

I am not religious. I never have been. I was christened as an infant and attended church occasionally on a Sunday. I never really thought much of it or took in the verse and story. I never truly sang a hymn and felt it’s meaning. The more life went on, the less I thought about it, the less I attended. I haven’t placed any value in religion or had a reason as to why it should have a place in my world. Of course I respect those who do. We each are fully entitled to our beliefs and values. 

Recently, I am myself questioning why people find religion and hold on to it so tightly? Why  do they chose to worship something/someone that they have no proof of? What makes a person hold such a strong faith? What reason would someone have to believe so strongly? 

Could it be that it allows a person a coping strategy? That when life gets tough, religion is something to fall into? So that when our lives are ripping at the seams, we can patch up the damage with prayer? When death is at ones door, faith can abide deep grief but also enable a means to come back from it? That it gives a different life to somebody you have lost; A different form, being or spirit? A way in which they can stay with you? Does it make right what science and research still can not? Knowing something is out of your hands but in the hands of a god… Can it put one at ease? I am envious of people that have this. Such a strong faith it could pull you through the toughest time.

I don’t enjoy giving death a thought, but having a terminally ill son, it is hard not to let my mind see where we are headed at times. Believe me I am trying to be positive and focus on ‘HOPE’. But hope can be a hard thing to grasp if you don’t have a faith, can’t it? I’m finding it difficult, and not just for the obvious reason – facing losing him, but because I don’t know how I will ever cope with it. I don’t know how I will ever cope with him gradually getting weaker, losing any abilities he has, struggling to function. I don’t know if I can cope with not being able to make this right for him, not being capable of stopping this, to take his pain away. I am frightened that I won’t find a way out. I worry that I won’t be able to be a strong enough mother for lily or wife to Darren. That I will fall into the black and there I will remain. How will I find the light again? Who will guide me?

I have always thought that when you go, you are gone. There is nothing else. That is it. The end. But, how can I possibly think that of my child? My boy. I want him to be alive in me for ever more. I want to close my eyes and see his happy, beautiful face smiling back at me. I want to feel his presence in the nature around me and know that he is always with me. To speak to him and believe he is listening. How does one do this without faith, without religion?

Instead of throwing myself into praise, I will throw myself into our memories. And I will hold them so tightly, always. Instead of falling into the abyss, I will fall into the arms of my my family and friends, and know that they will keep me from reaching a depth from which I cannot return. I can see Corry in my husband and in myself. I can feel happiness at that. I will watch him and lily making mischief and remember all of the cheeky games they play together. I will know he is with me always, because he was made by me, he is a part of who I am. By living and breathing he will be too. 

But, for now we will just be….. We will make those memories, we will love one another. I want no more burdens to carry, no more sorrow of what is to come.  

Just to be, for now, here. Together. 


3 thoughts on “Grieving without religion

  1. I literally have no words, every time I read your blogs I feel so sad for what you and you family have to deal with on a daily basis, you are probably the most amazing, strongest person I have ever met, the connection you all have together is amazing, you and Darren are wonderful parents, and lily a fantastic caring big sister, I think of you all a lot and always will, enjoy the memory making and enjoy every second while its still here

    love and hugs



  2. People develop many different coping strategies often outside of rational beliefs. You may never even admit to someone else what they are, but to just have them helps you through…these are a few of ours, I have never discussed them before with anyone. Whenever I fly, or am in a potentially dangerous situation I believe that my Nan who died in 1998 is my Guardian Angel. She would never allow anything bad to happen to me and this gives me immense comfort. My Mum believes that when a Painted Lady butterfly makes its way into the house (and they do this often over winter) that this is the spirit of my Pop – her Dad, saying hello, and she has a bowl of dead butterfly’s that she collects in her lounge. White feathers that appear are signs that my Nan is nearby. Time has a way of ensuring we remember the good things about our loved ones, not the painful ones. It will never be an easy path but little coping strategies will knit together to carry you through. I often wonder how anyone could possibly cope with sudden, traumatic deaths of their loved ones, such as the family in the speed boat at Padstow a few years ago, but I have seen the Mum on TV recently, she has thrown herself into fund raising for the Air Ambulance and she can smile despite her massive losses, I guess this is her religion. Much love, Jo

    Liked by 1 person

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