For the non- religious- where do we go when we die?

I titled this post for the non-religious simply because I don't know what I believe. I have always been very analytical and I am trying to wrap my head around death which is so abstract.

Where do we go when we die if it's not a place dictated by religion? I fully support those with strong faith and am so grateful that those people are comforted by their faith. It's just that my mind has always considered a wide variety of options, making it far more difficult to bring my brain any peace.

This is not a post to encourage people to respond trying to convert me to religion so please don't attempt that. I just want to invite others to share their non-religious beliefs about where we go when we die. Do you believe our bodies have energy that can never be destroyed? Do you believe that the essence on someone it around you and can communicate with you?

I'm just so confused. My mother at age 84 died quite suddenly only a month ago. We knew she was sick, but we went for answers and she only spent one night in hospital and died the next day due to having been over-medicated on opioid medication through the night. We know the hospital made a mistake, the doctor admitted it, but we would never be able to deal with the emotional agony of holding them accountable for it. The truth is, we know that if she had lived, she would have had few remaining years and they would have all been full of treatments, hospitals and pain.

I still want something I can hold on to though. Just knowing it probably spared her pain in the long term is not enough. ,I have so many questions for which there are no answers. I want to know if my mom knew she was going to die, why did she use all the energy she had to fling her arm over me as I stood by her bedside when she had no strength, was totally out of it, and couldn't breath, was she mad at me for not understanding she couldn't breath, was she mad that I didn't do something more to help. What was she trying to tell me, or was she not even aware she did that, was it just an involuntary burst of energy!?

After they rolled her our of her room to the ICU I want to know if was she ever in any pain before she died. Did she know they were putting a tube down her throat and into her stomach and a port in her neck? Did she feel it?

I looked at her Face when she flung her arm over me as I stood at her bedside, her eyes had pinpoint pupils and she appeared vacant. I can't understand why I didn't say anything to her. I should have said "mom, can you hear me" , "mom, we are getting help".... but I just ran out of the room and called a nurse. Did my mom know I tried? It had been raining that day and The moment right after we were told she died there was a huge crack of lightening in the sky. Was that her?

I'm sorry, I'm so off topic....I just have so many questions and it defies my logic not to have answers. I wish sometimes I could just turn my brain off and accept there are just no answers sometimes....so sorry for rambling....I'm having a rough day.

My heart goes out to all of you who have lost loved ones.

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Hi Lynda, if only we had the answers, I really wish I had a strong religious belief but my mind is to questioning.

In the 20 mins or so that Shirl went from happily sitting joking and talking about what we were going to watch on tv to being dead, she knew she was dying.

5 minutes after she said she was hot and I gave her her inhaler, she said I think I'm dying, I instead of telling her I loved, i her told her not to be silly, just to get her breath and she'd be fine. Next minute she grabbed my hand, really gripped it and said I'm going, then she was dead.
Her eyes were full of panic, I will never ever forget her eyes and it kills me. She knew she was dying, it was quick but I don't think peaceful.

It will haunt me forever.
Hugs to you x
Hi Jackie, I'm so sorry to hear about Shirl. What a heart wrenching experience you shared. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult that was and still is for you. Had you and Shirl ever talked about your beliefs about death and dying before that day?

Lynda
Hi Lynda, we talked loads as Shirl was quite a bit older than me and her biggest fear was leaving me alone, I always said I always said I found it so hard to believe in the heaven and afterlife, how would there be room for so many was just one of my questions.

Shirl wasn't particularly religious but said she believed in some thing and believed we would be together again, I can't believe even now I'm talking about her and she's not here!

She promised me if there was anyway she would let me know she was ok, warned me not to waste money on physics as she wouldn't talk to them, she knew that's the first thing I would want to try, and she's right I do.

Now I have to believe as its all I have, not in God as it would a cruel sort of God that would let murders live and our loved one die, but some sort of after life.

WE all just have to hope, as its all we have left xx
I agree with Shirl, I do believe something happens after we leave this world. I think there is enough room for everyone because we change forms, no longer needing a body to take up space. And I also believe part of our spirit stays here on earth in all those whose lives we have impacted.

I've become really interested in astronomy because if you really study it you realize that the earth is just a small blip in the universe and if Einstein was right (and I think he was) that energy can't be created or destroyed, just transformed, then it means Shirl's being or essence of everything she was here on earth is both in you, and part of it is somewhere out there ,no doubt, waiting for the right moment to let you know she is okay.

From everything I've read, It is quite possible there are other dimensions out there in the universe that our brains just can't comprehend right now. And if our brains can't comprehend it, then our loved ones are going to have a hell of a time getting in touch with us, so I think we really need to be patient, watch for, and be open to any subtle messages, they may send us.

I made my mom and dad both promise only a month or two before mom died that when each of them died they would try and contact me from their afterlife. They laughed at me, but I said, no seriously, I'm telling you right now, I want a sign! Lol my mother always rolled her eyes at me when I'd say that. lol

I'm curious about something you said in your post:

Why was Shirls biggest fear leaving you alone? What specifically do you think she was worried about?

Lynda

P.S. Sorry for all the questions...just trying to help give an alternate perspective for consideration....I think that is what coping with grief is. Learning to think about things differently.
Hi Lynda, no worries about questions, it gets my brain working which it's not being doing for a long time.
Shirls said she wasn't scared of dying but scared of leaving me alone cost she knew her daughter would turn on me as soon as she was gone. I have no children, we only had each other and didn't need anyone else. However Shirl had a daughter who has never liked or excepted our relationship, she was very jealouse of our happiness.
And boy was she right, I have had solicitors letters asking for all her mothers jewellery and chattel! Now inhale been informed by solicitor because we were not legally married Maria is legally next of kin and she has forbidden me to be buried with Shirl, nice a,I was totally devastated but now today am calmer, wherever my Shirl is she is not in that grave, and one thing I'm sure of, after all Maria has done she will never see her mum again, I know I will. She has gone against all her mums wishes just to punish me for loving her, I really hope there is some kind of hell so she will go,there.

I'm desperate for a sign, I really need to know she's ok and not worrying about all that's gone on here. I'm trying to find a physchic but I need to know it is someone genuine. Will let you know if I do.

Hugs

Jackie x
Hi Jackie,
I have been at home helping my father who is now living alone in the family home (a 3/4acre property thatrequires lots f maintenance!) so I haven't been able to get online. He worked me like a dog lol!

I just wanted to say, after re-reading your posts again. In the first one, you said Shirl grabbed your hand tightly. I almost feel like that was a sign from her that she was passing on to you all of her strength to deal with what she knew you would deal with after she went off to sleep. If she looked panicked it might have just been because she was just hoping it was enough, the strength in her grip, all your past conversations about her daughter, all the things Shirl had every said or done with you that you could draw on for more knowledge and strength from her to get through anything you have to deal with ,even if she wasn't physically here with you. The bond you had with her will always strengthen you.

If her main concern was that YOU would be okay and that she wasn't afraid to die, maybe that means you don't need to ask her if she's okay because in her gripping your hand she was kind of telling you that she has got everything she needs to go but she wanted to pass you the torch so-to-speak. (Aka) leaving all her strength to you to tell you That SHE would be fine as long as YOU were fine and you could muster the strength to seek the help of others to support you with the upset her daughter is causing you.

If you don't mind me saying, It doesn't sound like Maria "just turned on you after her mother was gone" she had turned on both of you long before that. So is it possible that Shirl is absolutely okay, and told you that in the best way she could at the time. So maybe, the best way to keep Shirl okay, is to be OKAY yourself even if that means getting a counsellor, asking for legal help with the estate, or gaining the support of other friends and family.?

Just my two cents for what they are worth.
Hi Lynda, that's a lovely thought. I'm still struggling with it all, everything seems to have gone wrong since she died. Today our dog has been very poorly and I had to take her to the vets alone, it as so hard as she hates the vets. I don't feel like I have any strength at all, in fact I am so drained that I spend all my time just sitting.
It's so lonely, it's nearly 1 30pm here and I won't see or speak to anyone now till tomorrow morning.
I can't go out cos I can't leave Bisto and going out is too much effort anyway, I wish I could just go to sleep x
I'm so sorry to hear how drained you are feeling. Well, if it makes you feel any better at all, please know you are not alone in grieving (though I acknowledge we all grieve differently and I can't possibly know the depth of pain you feel right now) I'm here in my house, 1000s of miles away, over the ocean, awake hours ago but still lying in my bed. I feel exhausted too and like I am floating in some weird time zone and I just want to go back to sleep too in the hopes that when I wake everything will look a bit brighter. Please try and think of one thing that makes you happy right now and email me back and tell me what it is okay? ;)

Lynda

Lynda, You are someone I would love to talk to about this. I am a technical minded person that has questions and my dear mother passed just a little over 4 years ago. I am still lost without her but have been managing to do what she left me in charge to do. Not easy being me.

I have never had a close relationship to any of my brothers or sisters. Sucks but there were decade differences and that older sister crap.

I am also rambling because I find myself lost without anyone to confide in right now due to a shitload of other in law health issues my husband has been keeping from me.

The reason is sorrowful so I really do not want to go on about it right now. My mother was MY ROCK.

I do not have a tribe of people and am not part of a church group. I have nothing against that, I just do not need a shitload of people telling me that everything is going to be ok. I am ok on my own with my multiple pet family and what plants that I have not killed since mother left me holding the bag. I really miss her right now. I know we are "supposed" to be ready or ok when our "elderly" mothers pass but when the bond is strong, the loss hurts really bad. Peace

Hi Jean,
I'm so very sorry for your loss. I can appreciate now for sure the amount of work that is left to do when someone passes. It never helps when other relationship issues are complicating your life. You must be so exhausted that you just flop in a chair sometimes and think. "How much more of this can a girl take?" I hear you!

Over the last five year or so I have tried to think about what it would feel like when either of my parents were to die. I don't care what anyone says, I know now for a fact, there is no way to prepared yourself for the death of a parent regardless of age, because lord knows I tried for a long time to prepare...even when my mom was still in good health in her late 70's and early 80's . I tried to cherish every moment, say the things I wanted her to know, learn from her what I could, ask all the questions I wanted to ask, get the secrets to all her good recipes.....so I did all that, but now she is gone and there is just a huge hole that is left.

So, I sit here and think, what is my main issue now, is it that she is gone, or is it that I feel scared and question my competency to make life decisions without her opinion and advice? Even though I had my own life I still sought her counsel (she was a very smart woman) and support and knew that she was the rock that could always ground me. So without that who am I now? I feel scared, of making the wrong decisions, making stupid mistakes, maybe just being a "real" grown up. I'm almost 49 years old for crying out loud, I'm educated, employed. I have all the ingredients I should need to feel capable, but without my mother I just feel like I need to somehow muster the confidence to step it up a notch. This means I will have to seek out in others the kind of support my mother provided to me, and in the end, really just learn to have more confidence in myself.

Nothing will change that feeling though of having the anchor of my childhood family in tack, all the Holiday traditions will have to change and life will look a lot different....I think I just realized, I hate change because The unknown can be scary if you don't really and truly trust yourself. So maybe it's me I need to work on :/ I guess this realization is a good thing though.

I think I just rambled...oops.
Lynda
Just simply put I believe that we just go to sleep when we die.
We don't have some separate entity residing within us that goes somewhere else
We just stop living.

Our loved ones aren't suffering anymore...although we as the survivors suffer immeasurably.

I know that this doesn't ease our pain, but a truthful answer at least stops our uncertainty and helps us deal with the reality of the situation.

We lost a very dear friend 2 weeks ago May 8th to a motorcycle accident. He was on the way to work at 7 am. I will spare the details. Known him for 40 years. He was born riding a motorcycle.

We went to his memorial and their pastor made a statement that has stayed with me.

He said that we are all in the land of the dying. When our friend left he went on to the land of the living. From the day we are born we are all dying. That comment comforted me like no other has in all of the past funerals and memorials that I have been too. To many to count now. I do believe that there is hope that we don't just cease to exist.

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