amw (amw) wrote,

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i googled blessing

I am fairly interested in theology. I even considered doing a masters in it, briefly. I find the history and sociology of religion fascinating. I have been to church a few times and know plenty of Bible stories. At some point in my life i used to recite the Lord's Prayer before bed each night, though i can't remember who told me to do it or why. I like visiting churches when i am on holiday. My mother went New Age in the 80s, and several of my friends and partners were into Wicca and other new religious movements, plus of course the psytrance scene is full of hippies... So i consider myself fairly well-read when it comes to a variety of spiritual stuff. But this morning i had to ask Bing, "what is a blessing?"

You see, i know blessing in the context of a parent giving a kid their blessing with regard to marriage or another big life decision. I also know blessing in the context of something a priest does to water to make it holy. But i had no idea how to respond to "do you want to send a blessing [...] which we will write on the urn". I am not a priest. I can't bless objects. How do you write a blessing anyway? I thought it was some kind of mysterious incantation that people mutter while waving around incense. I found the email from my aunt very confusing.

After looking the term up i still don't really get it. I guess a blessing is a bit like the message you write in a get well soon card? But mom is dead, she was cremated and put in a biodegradable urn. She will live on in my memories and in all of her stories and wisdom that i share with the people i know. Writing her a blessing now feels morbid and weird.

I am going to guess it's something that brings people a sense of closure, but to me it feels... dismissive. Like the email i got from my aunt R after mom passed away and it is all about spirits watching over her or whatever. Dude. Shut the fuck up about angels, my mom just died. I guess she thought it would bring me comfort - or perhaps it was bringing her comfort - but i felt it was playing down the reality.

I have been through phases in my life where i was somewhat spiritual. I mean, i wanted to believe. But i was always more or less agnostic. Like "hey, wouldn't it be nice if..." Somehow in the past few years, though, i think i have turned solidly atheist. Maybe living in mainland China has brainwashed me. I just find superstition and faith tiresome. Life is complex enough without adding more rules on top of it.

Anyway, i did not send a blessing, but of course i have been thinking about mom all day. They are burying her urn in Belair National Park, which is a place i have never been and will probably never go, but there are koalas and kangaroos and stuff. Mom loved hiking and she loved the Australian outback, so i think it's a fitting spot.

Here's a photo of her back in 2012.

Tags: family

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