Easter: where it gets a bit more complex. April 20, 2014Posted by johnbohlinger in Uncategorized.
Tags: Easter, life after death., loss of a child
Easter: Where it gets a bit more complex.
At times, going to church makes me feel a bit like I felt when I was in 3rd grade being sent by my parents to sit on Santa’s lap; both skeptical, hopeful, a little angry and feeling a little silly.
Today is Easter; there’s no way any Catholic married to a Catholic is going to get away with skipping Easter Sunday Service.
It’s 2014. The last time I saw my son was Easter 2007. I could not remember the year; I had to look it up. Strange right? Try and block out something horrible long enough and the details grow hazy. I woke up this morning feeling depression whispering to me like it wanted to seduce me back into a terrible relationship. “Come with me. We use to be so close. Stop fighting it. I’ll never leave you.”
I got up, drank half-a-pot of coffee mixed with half n half and too much honey; a sugary indulgence I don’t allow myself often. Then I jumped into the routine.
I put on the button-down shirt and slacks. Combed my hair, the whole shebang. Got out of the house late, parked in the auxiliary lot, and walked into Church’s stifling heat created by all these bodies crammed into this tight space. The ceiling fans turned listlessly 20 pitched feet above our sweaty heads. The sun hitting me hot and vengeful through the blinding stained glass. No seats so we leaned against a wall. No seats BECAUSE IT’S EATER SUNDAY AND EVERY BODDY GOES TO CHURCH ON EASTER SUNDAY. We’ve been through this.
So I’m standing there and see this kid in front of me who, from behind, looks just like my son. Same crazy curly long brown hair, same just-picked-up-off-the-floor-this-morning clothes, same chain running from his belt-loop to his back-pocket to his probably empty wallet. His arm around a beautiful girl. Had this been 7 years ago, I would have snuck up behind him and poked him in the back. This would have annoying the shit of him, but I would not have been able to resist.
I considered that this could be some kind of Back-to-the-Future scenario that will turn this tragedy into a light heart summer-time release romp for the whole fun family. Next, I thought this was my son’s doppelgänger who apparently has better luck then my son did.
Next I wondered if I should give the doppelgänger $20 to take his girl out for an after church treat. Then I thought about how creepy this would probably seem to the cute kid and his cute date and concluded I’m in no condition to engage with anybody.
Then I thought about how this kid is not my son, mine is gone, and this whole Jesus raised from the grave thing that we are currently celebrating doesn’t mean much. I’m a Catholic, born and raised, but it’s not quite as black and white, true and false as it once seemed.
Do I believe Jesus once walked the earth?
Do I believe he preached of loving God and all others, was crucified, died and was buried?
He rose from the dead?
He was resuscitated?
He was the Son of God?
Yes, but we are all God’s children.
Is there eternal life?
This is where it gets a bit more complex. As I’ve said before, regardless of what you think about life after death in a spiritual sense, your children are life after death in a physical sense. You check out but your DNA just keeps going from kids, to grandkids, etc.
But, what if your child beats you to the finish line without fulfilling the biological imperative of procreating?
I looked at my son’s doppelgänger and thought for a minute; we could very well be related. According to Wiki: “On average, biochemically all humans are 99.9% similar to any other humans”.
I did a little more web research to confirm in a very non scientific way, that this kid and I were related. Here’ s my so-called research bullshit which is enough for me:
“When we get right down to it, we must face the truth that we’re all hopelessly inbred. It’s a question of basic mathematics – there simply aren’t enough ancestors to go around. To understand what I mean, let’s say you were born in 1975, your parents were both born in 1950, your four grandparents were born in 1925, your eight great-grandparents in 1900, and so on. In other words, your number of ancestors doubles every 25 years the further back in time you go.
If you take this back just 1,000 years, you’ll find that you have well over 500 billion ancestors in a single generation. Considering there’s fewer than seven billion people on this planet – and even that is far, far more than any other point in human history – there’s something seriously wrong here. The solution, of course, is that you don’t have 500 billion distinct ancestors, but rather a much, much smaller number of ancestors reappear over and over and over again in your family tree.”
See, this kid looks like my kid because he probably shares many of the same genes. We are all part of life, which just keeps going. Which brought about another guestion:
Will I see my son in heaven someday, sitting in a heavenly kitchen where my mother is making her fettucini and my dog Budzo is eating scraps off the celestial floor?
Maybe. That would be awesome.
Is there life after death?
Definitely. Just look around.