Rest in Peace RIP
Why do we say Rest in Peace, Asleep in the Lord, Memory Eternal, or you can sleep when you are dead?
Have you ever heard those terms mentioned when someone refers to the dead?
What do you think really happens in Death, or AFTER Death?
Do you think You will rest in PEACE?
If we pray the words “rest in peace” does it affect the resting person or actually have any potential to bring the dead more peace though my intercession?
Are memorials only for the living to remember the dead or are they a tribute to the investment and impact that person had in our lives.
I think it does…let me explain.
This is a blog of me just exploring my thoughts (a sorta CS Lewis thing). I think like him in many ways, different than my peers, sorta philosophical and yet simple…real simple. I admit I know lots of psyche babble. I have been educated and over educated for years and years of higher education. Yet, I am still a simple girl. I speak simply and in terms that any person can get. I contemplate complex concepts all the time, but they boil down to simple truths truths I actually live by. My goal is to always speak really simple and only speak on subjects worth exploring. Can I change anyone’s mind about life eternal? Your mind is your mind, my desire is to challenge your thinking (something few schools or the media offer in this day and age). I am not Catholic , or Protestant or Jewish. In fact I believe most religions have so many holes in their theories that there is a seed of truth and a whole lot of mans corruption for all religions.
In fact, I can’t really pull off speaking educated or sounding educated because I am a simple girl with a simple life and I intentionally choose that life purposefully. I do not write eloquently either but what I take the time and thought to write I can guarantee you: will change your life, or at least change your perspective. Its not perfected in grammar but I try to do my best. I do not strive to sound educated because, fact in point, most educated people are really dumb…seriously dumb when it comes to life, emotions, relationships, and reality.
All the crap they teach us in the books, frankly its really meaningless… its fantasy… its not real life and its definitely not applicable to real life problems, at least not my real life problems or those i help on a daily basis.
Intellectualism sounds good, but when I write and expose my innermost thoughts I do it for real comfort, real change of thought, real life hope and real life peace: peace that, despite the hardships one must endure, can really mean something, something real in eternally.
I think…. I really believe with all my heart, in this opinion I am about to share. Not like a ponder thought, but like a value deep in my soul. I actually live my life on it, believing it. Also, I do actually have centuries of supportive writings for this thought but I am not here to convince you…that takes too much time research and citations (which if I am not careful and I copy to much means possible plagiarism)…frankly its too much work for my busy life! I just want to flesh the idea of RIP out with you, if your interested its a pretty long ride but at the end you will cry and you will think hmmm…that was well worth the ride. SO on we go.
Life is short…. so lets just speculate for a minute. What if you for a moment consider, that in death we will have time to rest from this weary journey. What if In death, we will have infinite time where we will finally be able to explore our innermost thoughts, motives, hurts and pains. What if In death, and after death, we will finally see things as they really were… the whole picture…the “true lens” not just our reality from our personal lens, but what if we could see others reality, as well as our own reality. What if we really do choose to put the pieces together of our life, of why God allowed us to live the journey we suffered.
By lens I mean shades of truth…like often my kids tell me a memory or a story of “what really happened according to them”. They tell me how they emotionally or pictorially interpreted a life event that I was in. Now consider, at the time they were 5 or 10 or even 15, sadly I callously laugh (they really hate that) at how they interpreted the event unfolding. Then after I listen to their thwarted perspective I think “wow!!! That’s how you saw that”. Often its not even close to the reality of the truth that I was experiencing at the time as the grown up orchestrating the event.
After many years of this battle, with children’ or families’ personal interpretation, I realized I was looking at it through my “mother lens”. I see through my “reality of the day lens”. That lens often explains away the times when I chose quick stupid actions… best I could do at the time actions… and somehow it is interpreted as “bad mother crap”.
I do admit I have done some bad mother crap on many occasions. For example, one time I chased after one of my little darlings with a pool stick and he fell down the stairs. Another time I recall dragging one by her pony tail all the way up to her room. I am sure to them that became traumatic “bad mommy material” imprinted in their memory.
But and that’s a big BUT… had they seen what they did to provoke me to that point, or all the crap they did to repeatedly disobey me that particular day that pushed me to explosion and forced me to a paddling point, boy then they would have been glad I was actually a good mommy and they would fall down on their knees and repent of all the bad stuff they say when they repeat that story using only a limited 5 year old perspective(or a visiting family members perspective.
Its reassuring to believe all that background reality truth stuff is stored somewhere …maybe in the deep recesses of our brains. I call it the minds eye (Orthodox phrase) but believe me TRUTH and REALITY are stored. Each day more and more scientific proof is evolving to confirm this belief. But one day this truth will be known, our truth of our lives, will be known for all involved to see. I often think if only they knew who they really were and how hard I tried and how many chances and how much patience I showed before I gave up. If only they could comprehend how much I did to be a great mom.
I realize how often I only see what a really great mom I was. Thankfully the years have awakened my perspective and in turn I now realize I saw my parenting through the “dusty lens of awful parenting”.
My parents were really what I would call “awful parents”. My parents (again through my child lens I remind you) had no consistency, no encouragement, no charts, no stickers, no positive reinforcement, the only method of training was yelling and mom telling dad and dad spanking with a drumstick on our bare butts. I call their no nonsense technique the….. “we got these kids so now we muddle through” method. From my limited memory, we were never special or even considered in their minds. My parents just did whatever they wanted, all the time, they were free birds…hippies from the sixties… drinking, partying, living their lives any old way they chose.
I grew up in a “survival of the fittest mode” which meant if there was milk…. drink it up …you never know when you are gonna get more…. if you see 5 bucks on the table, hey… finders keepers… my lucky day!!!! We all just did what we wanted as well…until we got caught that is.
That was my “awful parenting lens” and I could never grasp the concept that my kids could even slightly suggest I was anything like that! They had no clue what a bad mom was (from my perspective). However, my lens changed when I became a mother of several teens simultaneously. It was not until I could actually look at their past seeing “my mothers cloudy lens” that my world was awakened to the truth of their reality.
When, as an adult, I came to accept the reality of just who my mother was really was and learned what she had experienced in her life, my perspective about her mothering changed. Listening to my mothers stories allowed me to take into account her personality, and her frail, frail, soul. I considered her limited intellectual capacity and her propensity toward avoiding confrontation. When I actually empathize with my moms numerous mental hospitalizations, all the Shock treatments suffered, her upbringing, the adoption or ” stealing” of her unwed pregnancy in the 50″s when she was a tender age of 16, my heart just breaks.
When I think of the foster homes we were shipped off to (and somehow actually returned!) and the family members who had us when we were toddlers I can scarcely believe she lived through it all.
It was not until I had a son battling with addictions that one day I realized: the age my irresponsible addict …he is the same age my dad was …and by that age my dad was supporting 5 kids ( 26 )and dealing with a wife who was nuts(really totally pyschotic).
As I began to see through my “parents lens” of life I caught a brief view of their reality. A reality never before considered in my perspective…wow!!!! How did they even function? They had no money, no supportive family, no rules, no faith, no love between them, no respect for one another and really no values. All they knew was try to eat drink and be merry and make it through the day. Man I would have had to be on drugs too, just to exist!!!
I realize now, after having been a Children and Youth Caseworker, for someone as weak and naive as my mom to get her kids back from foster care or from numerous relatives, had to be hard work and extremely challenging. Yet, my hearts mom was so full of strength and love. Her goal was always the same …. all she ever wanted was to have her kids grow up together and not be ” farmed out” as she would say. She often says “ dad would have had you all adopted out” but no she kept trying and actually achieving getting us back even with a spouse that kept drinking and abandoning us.
When I look at how hard my moms life must have been and how she even managed to keep us in diapers and fed with an absentee alcoholic man and when he was present he was violently throwing and breaking and swearing and busting up the house.
I can still vividly recall the day my dad put his hand through a glass window(one of numerous suicide attempts)…and mom saw him lying on the floor bleeding out and she kept repeating…”I want to let him die, just let him die…. but I can’t carry the guilt, I just can’t carry the guilt” so she called an ambulance (he ended up getting a free college education from the damage of that self inflicted wound…go figure…good of US of A).
Wow how did she do it!!! She did not even have the Lord to bring her comfort or guidance…poor soul she was…aww how I pity all my mom went through. How sad I feel when I realize how it must have felt as her adult children completely disowned her for years at a stretch…actually some continue to this day.
Then then I get out my “daddys lens” to visit his reality. I see how his mother left him as a child…. just up and left. How he was raised by a drunk weak man no doubt ( which in that era was unheard of), and how he always reverted to some addiction to cope. Alcohol and Drugs were his only solution to mask all that pain. I see how through generational violence it became his only tool to release that pent up anger he was constantly enduring.
My mom once told me a story of how dad pulled gun on grandpa and how had a car with all sorts of drugs hidden in every compartment and under the seats. She told me how he drove from Pa to Michigan doing drug deals and how her and grandpa finally turned him in and he was put in jail after shooting at the cops and fleeing with her and the kids in the car. She told me how he drove the car to a river once and had a gun to his head and begged her to pull the trigger and she refused so he tried to drown himself in that river. Mom ran down pulling him out of the stream with his children looking on. This was just one day in her crazy, unbelievable, life. She told me how dad would follow her time and time again when she moved back to Michigan living with her parents to escape his abuse, begging her for one more chance and saying he was gonna get a job and was going to be a good dad. Oh how my daddy’s heart wanted his family to be happy together. My dad never knew a happy family…it was just an imaginary thought…a fantasy. Dad would do good for a year and attempt to get clean over and over and always eventually fall back into his addictions.
My poor dad spent a lot of his life shooting up before shooting up was even a thing. Later in his life every vein he had was collapsed. He suffered so much physically from 30 years worth of toxic levels of ginger brandy which eventually killed his liver. All the pain and guilt he must have felt from molesting me as a child when my mom was escaping to the mental hospital for a “break”. All the pain that comes with the sexual deviancy he must have felt as he lies in life eternal when he ponders and truly realizes the damage he did when he took two vulnerable innocent adolescences to get laid by a prostitute as a birthday gift( his concept of a good becoming of age experience) . Before that image was imprinted on those boys, that lady was just known as a nice family friend. How he deals with the emotions visualizing how he prostituted out my mom and took all the money making a nifty little business for himself.
Boy, I could just cry when I think of him never having a mother, never knowing how to treat or respect my mom, never healing all those scars from his childhood…just sedating himself with drugs so he didn’t feel the pain. When I think of all my parents went through, as children and as adults, how they had no birth control and just got pregnant time and time and time and time again, never a wanting a one of us…oh sadness overwhelms my heart.
To think my kids have the balls to even insinuate I was a bad mom whew that’s a low blow! I want to scream No that was not me…not me. I genuinely loved every one of my kids!!! All my life thats my one and only dream: to have a family to have lots and lots of babies! I adored each one of them, I planned them, I idolized them, I kept them healthy and clean to the best of my ability.
I read books galore on every stage how to challenge them and teach them how to have charts and stickers and make them work and learn responsibility. How to have them earn yogurt or pickles by cleaning their room, how I set up money envelopes to teach Larry Burketts money handling system. How I got them in sports, took them to vocal lessons(even when it was clear they had no talent), how I enrolled them in baton and cheerleading when we had little to no money. How I went to all the PTAs, was involved in their classrooms, came to eat lunch with them to socialize them and help them make friends. How I let all their friends hang here, fed the neighborhood, took in the homeless, the orphan’s, the mentally and physically ill…all so my kids would see how good they have it …all to show them: not all families have a mom who loves and respects their dad and a dad who adores and builds up their mom.
My kids were born into the tradition of church and we were in church as a family every time the doors were open. They were in Awanas and good news clubs and all summer they went to every neighborhood church that had a VBS. I sent them all to summer camps and encouraged them all to go on mission trips to 3rd world countries and often ended up donating the costs. I could go on and on about what a great mom I was compared to the awful parents I had if I am using my “amazing mothers lens”.
Again from some of their “lens” if they had 20 lacrosse games and I attended 7 of them (because I had 5 kids in 5 different sports in one season) and with 7 kids I rarely went to a game once they could drive, cause I had to run all the others(and did I mention I HATE SPORTS) but to them 7 out of 20 was lousy parent. To me 7 out of 20 was a miraculous feat because I was there all all I could be and had dinner laundry and school work but from that child’s mind I was compared to the “perfect friend parents” that he saw in his “perfect parent lens”…. That dimly lit view saw parents that had supported their child (which they only had 2 biological kids and lived and breathed lacrosse because their dad played lacrosse and his dad before him invented the game…emphasis added to make the point) and they were front row of every home game and away game and they brought drinks for the whole team…. do you get my point?
Well that’s how I became viewed through a “lousy mom” lens. And you know in the end….as I get back to resting in peace…. Someday when we all enter eternal rest….some of us will be resting a lot more comfortable than others because we took off those shitty glasses and forgave those well intended poor soul parents who had their hands full just getting out of bed in the morning.
Resting in Peace can happen for you today…for you tomorrow for your kids or even for those parents you keep carrying bitterness in your heart for because really we all do the best we can with the situation we have and no one really sees all those hurts and scars and scrapes along the way.
So when I say Rest in Peace or memory eternal to my daddy …as I light a candle at church each weak in remembrance of his soul and my sis inlaws soul and my friend who committed suicide and my grandparents I never knew… I say thank you for what you did to give me life, to give me different colored lens… perspectives and learning experiences that I now realize nothing else but that situation could have produced the journey I am on in life.
I wanna say daddy I love you rest in peace there is no bitterness in my soul I forgive you please work through forgiving yourself so you can come to a place in your world of eternity present everlasting where you see things … all those hurts done to you and by you… through the lens of why those hurts had to happen to make you the person you are …were and are to come…I wanna shout from the mountaintops the Lords Prayer everyday!!! Forgive me my trespasses(and as I do recite it each day I recall daily the things I have done to offend hurt or hinder others. Then I forgive all the others who have hurt me (and I name them one by one…it’s a very therapeutic process I do everyday …sometimes as I take a tubby…sometimes as I dance and sing…sometimes as I meditate and pray and do yoga and sometimes as I place my head on my pillow for sleep).
I feel if I do this enough for myself when my final day on this earth comes I will rest in complete peace and as I pray it for other whom are dead like my loved ones or my facebook loved one’ loved ones that peace will come to them…they they will from my challange and prayer be prodded to pick up the lens of God and see HIS plan and His purpose in their lives even in the shitty stuff…like being abused, neglected or having your ponytail pulled.
Eternal life is just that it’s the real you exposed and raw living on in eternity forever and ever and I think we will get a point where we get to see in our minds eye a brain cell being opened that instantaneously recalls all the awful things we did in life that we never confessed or repented of. I think we will process it over and over happening again over and over again until we see it clearly through the Lords lens.
So if we rejected HIM all our lives…we will get to do that in eternity over and over and unendingly.
If we molested a child or hung ourselves to hide the truth we will see the TRUTH loud and clear over and over and maybe God gives us a glimpse into the damage we did or the eyes of that child we tortured over and over. This is why repentance and confession are so important tho most Christians have thrown that baby out with the bathwater of Catholicism.
Spent 30 plus years supporting Protestant missionary’s trying to convert the Catholics…all to eventually find those Catholics have very good reasons for the traditions they handed down through the centuries.
And to all my protestant brothers and sisters who say this is all speculation ” your silly little Julia Jay opinionated blog …it its not in the bible it is not truth”… I would say back…. I agree it not in the bible in a way I can pull out the verse… but oh it is implied time and time again.
The BIBLE is TRUTH to that I totally agree but I would add the Bible is not exclusive truth. There are so many truths in the world…truths of Muslims… Jews… Jehovah witnesses…universalism.
There are so many truths in country songs, literary works, poems , truths in the eyes of your parents and your children and someday in life eternal ALL TRUTH will be known for all ETERNITY so don’t put all your eggs in a bible only basket cause one thing for sure is there is not relative truth.
Its like good and evil… they do not coexist…. light cannot exist in darkness light exposes darkness and the darkness become light when THE LIGHT expels the darkness. So in the end I would say….keep on keeping on …do the best you can to love yourself and love your brothers and sisters whether they be biological adopted, orphans, gays, prisoners, or politicians(which may have its own corridor in eternal damnation.