Losing My Religion
So this is me. Using this blog as my spotlight. As I’m losing my religion.
It started the weekend of the muppets’ baptism. Baptism: the first of the Church’s seven sacraments – meant to signify purity and cleansing from sin as a devotion to God. The welcoming of the new generation into the faith.
Can you tell my family’s Catholic?
Every Sunday growing up, my butt was in that pew. My grandmother devotedly attended mass daily, with a special focus on First Fridays. One of my best friends spent our childhood giving practice sermons to his stuffed animals while the rest of us played Hot Wheels (he’s in seminary now).
Me? I’m really more of a Cafeteria Catholic. I pick and choose the elements that interest me. Stop judging me.
I’ve experienced six of the sacraments. (This is what happens when you grow up Irish/Italian.) And I was excited to celebrate the muppets’ baptism. During our ordeal of prematurity, the boys had so many prayers – Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, spiritual.
And then my mom called me. G.G. needed to rush to the hospital for an MRI. They weren’t coming. It was a brain tumor. Malignant melanoma. Spread to the lungs.
Since I was little, my grandmother proclaimed that when she became elderly, she wanted to be sent out on an ice float like Inuit of days gone by. She never wanted her body or mind to betray her. She had a master plan. One night she would go to sleep and never wake up.
Instead there were hospital stays, surgeries, radiation, in-home care. Hair loss, weight loss. Depression. Hospice.
Free will be damned. Why would a supposedly loving God punish someone so faithful, so devoted? Hundreds of First Fridays with prayers to meet St. Peter and spend eternity with loved ones gone before.
I spoke to my grandmother today. She’s failing fast. “I’m GOING to get better, Tricia,” she declared. “There’s only one way to go. That’s up.” I wouldn’t expect anything less from her. That’s my Grandma – can you see where I get it? I come from a long line of proud, stubborn women.
How do you watch your mother and aunt tell your grandmother she no longer has to hang on? That it’s okay to let go. As they tell you not to visit. To remember her the way she was – an inspiration, the reason I tell stories.
Ten years of Religious Ed (CCD), four years of Marianist high school, four years of Jesuit university. I know the party line.
As humans we can’t begin to understand God’s plan. We are incapable of comprehending the complexity of what encompasses us. This is the reason for faith.
Bullshit. I cannot accept that. In this battle of good versus evil, the devil has definitely triumphed.
I want to believe that there is something more. I want to confidently say goodbye, knowing that I will see those I love again. That my grandmother will go to heaven and meet the child I never got the opportunity to know.
But right now, I’m angry. And it’s hard to think anything other than humanity as a collection of energetic atoms that will one day dissipate and be nothing more.
I’m trying to keep my view in perspective. And I don’t know if I can do it. I may have said too much here. But still, I haven’t said enough.