Patricia Ann Hamilton, 1944-2009

My mother passed away on June 4, 2009.  She had been unhappy with life, and deeply depressed since my father died 7 years earlier.  After a two week battle with pneumonia, she stopped fighting, and passed on to the next life.  I was sad that she left my life, but at the same time happy for her because she was going to be with my dad, exactly where she wanted to be, and she was finally at peace.

This brings up the universal question about life:  death.  What happens when we die, and where do we go?  I don’t believe anyone can know for sure.  My mother was christian, and believed she was going to heaven to be with my father.  Soon after she passed, her sister put a status on facebook that my mom “has seen the face of Jesus.”  I wonder, did she?  How can we know that?

Christians believe that life ends, and heaven or hell begins.  I’m sure that’s comforting for many, but I have to ask, is that all there is?  Do we go through this life, accomplishing much or little, and then just spend an eternity somewhere else?  Sounds like a waste of a life to me.  If there was a god that was determining our eternity, and he really wanted it to be a beautiful eternity, wouldn’t he just put us there to begin with?  Why go through all the mundane experiences of a life on earth, if they have no influence on the days following our death.

Some, like most buddhists and pagans, believe in reincarnation.  That’s an interesting alternative, but exactly how does it work?  Do we keep the same soul, and just come back in another body, or do we come back as new souls, but the same self, or do we come back as cute little rabbits or puppies?  And who makes that decision.  And if we do come back, how many times does it happen?  I’ve heard it said that we keep coming back until we get “IT” right.  Well again, who makes the decision that we finally got it right?  And finally, when do we come back?  Does the whole reincarnation process take 12 days, 32 days, 14 years?  I’m OK with the thought of reincarnation, but I want to know how many times I have to come back.  I get bored easily, and don’t want to go through the whole cycle too many times.

Let’s not forget about ghosts….where do they fit into the picture?  Is my mother just wandering around in my house?  Somedays I would say yes, especially when the cable box gets turned off, like she so often would do.  If we become ghosts and remain here in the physical earth, how long do we stay here?  I believe in ghosts, but that belief does contradict my belief in reincarnation.

And finally, could the after life be what we believed it would be, or it is something totally different that none of us would ever expect?  And my least favorite, do we just die and that’s it.  So mother, I wonder, where are you?  Did you meet Jesus and reconnect with your one true love in life, are you preparing to come back for another round or maybe you are already a newborn across town, or are you walking around my house turning off the cable box?

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