Meaningful Sadness

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and I’ve missed the interactions.

After my mother died last summer, I spent some time remembering and grieving as well as making sure my aging father was well taken care of.  Then, completely unexpected, my wife’s father passed away.  This was even tougher for all of us because he was very healthy and none of us saw it coming.  We all thought he’d be around for at least another 25 years. My wife went through several intense phases of grief and things have slowly gotten back to normal this year.

Somewhere in there, Nate Owens sucked me into an addictive game called Destiny (which has been a lot of fun), and that took up a lot of my time, and then in the middle of January my boss at work moved me into a position where the customers always seem to want things yesterday, so that has been quite a time suck as well.

We’ve been sad about not having my mother and father-in-law around.  Our parents were very meaningful to our lives as well as the lives of our children.  Their care, love, and good advice will be remembered for the rest of our lives.  This is why I don’t agree that there is no meaning if you don’t believe in gods.  There is always temporal meaning because the whole idea of gods imparting meaning is gotten from the idea that thinking minds can create meaning – and we are thinking minds.  Yes, our human meaning may not be perfect, may not be eternal, and may not be cosmic or objective, but it can still be strikingly beautiful and inspiring.  The lives of my mother and my father-in-law were beautiful and inspiring to me and my family.

Which reminds me of a video I saw on Brenda’s blog – When we gift people flowers we don’t give them plastic flowers.  We give them real flowers even though real flowers are temporal.

So I have a few questions for my readers:

If you believe that gods exist and you are grateful that they have given you a life that you cherish and enjoy so much, would you stop cherishing and enjoying life if you suddenly found out that gods do not exist?  If you used to believe but no longer do, did your value of your life and your loved ones change?

And if you believe that it is good and right to treat others in a loving way, would you stop treating others in a loving way if you suddenly found out that gods do not exist?

I can see that there may be some who would be more lax about treating others kindly if they stopped believing, but do you think one’s entire value system would break down?  Mine did not.