Archive for June, 2013


Thursday, June 20th, 2013

We Never Died

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

Being agnostic, I don’t believe in “heaven” or “hell” in the “biblical-afterlife-sense” of these words. But when visiting a beloved’s resting place, I would still converse with them as if they could hear and understand me. In a sense, they do.

The atoms that formed the loved one–every single one of those atoms–are still part of this Earth. The very oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen that they drew is now part of the sustenance of many living beings. These living beings will be ingested by other living beings, and the said other living beings that ingested them will go on to be ingested themselves. The atoms will be used in many biological processes everywhere around me. I can take solace in that.

Admittedly, the void left by a beloved’s departure is irreplaceable, but at least I know that they will always be around me no matter what. As a matter of fact, ninety-eight percent of our atoms are changed out during the different stages of our lives. Somewhere out there, there could be an atom that was carried by my loved one’s breath that formed their words, and another that was once a part of their hand when it held mine.


Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.

I am the diamond glints on snow.

I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush

I am the swift uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight.

I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.

-Mary Elizabeth Frye