This year so many people on my social media timelines have spent so much time and energy and emotion basically mourning for celebrities.
I’ve always seen death as apart of life. I can’t say I’ve mourned anyone. The closest death to me was my maternal grandmother. For most who know me, that could be confusing because they know that blood means nothing to me; relationship means everything. So for clarity, this is one of the few blood relatives that had really interacted in my life over the years, so there was an established relationship. Even with her death, I didn’t shed any tears, I didn’t morn, I didn’t put my normal daily routine on hold.
The only other death that I’ve known about that might have affected me would have been the death of Tupac. Despite vast differences, his music resonates with me, it’s become woven into the soundtrack to my life. When I watched the news one day and found out he was shot, I was like Biggie, “…again?” When I learned a few days later that he didn’t survive, I was stunned for a moment, but ultimately his affect on my life wouldn’t be changed and I would have his music for a lifetime. Still no tears, no mourning.
In those two moments, my thoughts never went to the standard thoughts of “rest in peace.” I was considered a Christian and believed in heaven and hell, although I had my concerns about the afterlife being realistic. My thoughts went to, how is my life gonna be changed? How are our lives going to be changed?
I know that may sound selfish but I don’t agree that it is. With Christianity my belief was, God is the one who decides whether a person goes to heaven or hell; why should I be concerned with their fate? I can’t change it. In my current lack of belief, I doubt there is any afterlife and I lean towards belief that after your bodily functions cease there is no more life. You remain in people’s memories, your past actions and words still affect people, but those are the only ways you live on, I believe. So for me it seems pointless to even waste my breath on saying something like “rest in peace.”
Basically, I believe it’s kind of insulting for so many people to tell dead people to”rest in peace” while some of these same people seek to take away the peace of others who are still living. This is why some years ago I started saying forget resting in peace, we can’t do anything when we’re dead, how about we all live in peace?