This is not to say we didn't have beliefs. We did. We do. We have a belief in God, in spirit, and certainly in one another. We just - for better or worse - didn't subscribe to a particular set of religious beliefs under one single religion. Jill was (in my opinion) great at picking and choosing from different religions what best fit her individually. I, on the other hand, am Jewish by label...but it doesn't run much deeper than that.
And while Jilly was very comfortable w/ her own belief structure, I've always had difficulty building my own. It's always always always been an internal tug-of-war. I need religion. It will make me whole and provide a solid foundation and direction for my life. Then from another lens, it appears to be the root of all/most conflict on this planet. So, there's that.
Like Jill, I've always had a nebulous belief in the afterlife. Not so much hell, but some undefined post life dimension of sorts that we all enter after this phase on Earth. And I think it's b/c of
During Jill's last few months, we had many difficult and honest discussions w/ Rory. (Conversations I hope you never have to have w/ a child.) We expressed to her that Mommy's body was breaking down and would not last as long as we'd all like it to. But, the spirit. Mommy's spirit will (and does) live on. So, while you'll see Mommy's body appear lifeless, you'll know that her spirit continues on, taking on another form. We introduced the term 'vessel.' Mommy's body was simply a vessel for her spirit. And thankfully Mommy's spirit will never die. And as long as we keep Mommy in mind and in heart, her spirit will continue to live inside of us forever. This was as comforting as it could be to an eight year old.
Having these discussions in bed w/ Jilly and Ro helped reinforce my belief in the never-ending spirit.
But doubt, as it always has, remains. I'm a proof guy - always have been. Show me and I'm in.
I've found myself in recent days thinking about the spirit and this now-more-appealing-than-ever afterlife. And what I keep thinking is that it has to exist. In other words, what we had can't be it. It's not enough. We're not done. We get a second act, right? We have to. I'm not going to say it's only fair that it occur...b/c I know firsthand shit just ain't fair. But, not surprisingly, now more than ever I have to believe. I have to believe I'll see my wife again.
If you look down at the outside of your hand, there's a spot between your thumb and index finger, kinda near the webbing. (Is it called webbing? We're not frogs.) I don't recall how or when I stumbled upon it. Maybe in a moment of holding hands early in our relationship. But, Jilly had the softest little spot on both her hands. And for whatever reason, like things do in close relationships, touching that spot stuck. It seemed to provide equal comfort and calm for both of us.
I found myself touching that spot on Jill's hands a lot in the last few days before she passed. I wanted her to know, to feel that we could both be comfortable, now and in the future. I hope she felt it.
So, while doubt still nags at me, I
(lots of deep exhales)
J, J, & r