Monday, December 19, 2011

I don't know if it's God, but it's a lousy coincidence anyway...

I'm not the God-fearing person I'm supposed to be. And I'm alright with that. Having gone to university in the US Bible Belt, though, I had my fair share of people trying to "save" me, which I appreciated. I mean, you have to really care about a person to want to save them from going to hell, right? I was lucky (blessed?) to have all those people around me, and am still lucky (blessed?) to have them put up with me and my agnostic ways after 10 years.

The thing is, I don't believe in blaming nor accrediting God with everything. If something good happens (something over which you had some kind of control, like a good job offer or a raise or that your self-made dinner tasted delicious), then why should you claim that God did that? I mean, God surely gave you the talent to be the best you could be, and He (She?) even "blessed" you with strength and courage and whatnot. But there are certain things that YOU do for yourself. No one does them for you. At the same time, if something lousy happens (something over which you had some kind of control, like not getting a job, or getting fired, or having your self-made dinner burn in the oven), then why should you blame God for that? It's not His (Her?) fault that someone got better grades in college than you did, or that you were caught surfing porn during office hours, of that you did not pay attention to the oven because you were cyber-stalking some ex. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Some things are just coincidences (like my meeting people from Barranquilla in Kiel), and some things are just you working hard for them (like my being accepted in the Masters program). For the other things, those that neither money nor MasterCard can buy, I have no explanation. But that is not my point.

My point is, my Aunt (my Uncle's wife) died last Monday. A week ago today. She was not ill, she was not old (mid-50s), she was not a bad person. She was the opposite of bad: she was an awesome mother, an incredible artist, a leader in her church, a role-model for her family. She is (was?) the type of person who should live forever.

But God wanted her Angel back in heaven, said one of her sisters.

Well, God, I think you're a little bit selfish if that is why she died. I mean, did you really, really need her before Christmas? Seriously, dude. Not cool.

But God is lucky, because I don't believe that is why she died.

God is punishing her youngest daughter, because she is an atheist, said one of my aunts to my grandmother. That side of the family is very, very religious. God-fearing people, alright. The Bible Belt equivalent, but in my country. And my cousin, 23 years old, is a declared atheist (I tend to think she's just confusing terms and she really is agnostic, but that is not my point), and thus God decided to punish her by killing her mother. By killing her mother right before Christmas.

Well, God, I think you're a little bit selfish, because she (my Aunt) had 3 other children, a husband, 7 younger siblings, a mother, and a huge group of friends who loved her, and all of whom believe in You. So why kill her to teach one puny little human a lesson, while at the same time punishing so many? Seriously, dude. Not cool.

But God is lucky, because I don't believe that is why she died.

My Aunt died due to medical negligence. She went in for a routine cholecystectomy, just like I did last year, and the doctor accidentally ruptured her intestine. Notice that I said accidentally. The guy made a mistake. He may have saved many lives before and after on that very day, but he made a terrible, fatal mistake on my Aunt. And she died because of it. The guy is more than likely a good doctor, a good doctor who, like many working for the State in my country, earn too little and work too much. He just made a mistake and my Aunt died.

God is more than likely sad. God is probably saying to the Doctor, Dude, I gave you all the skills and talent and wisdom to know when to say no and when to open your eyes and double-check, but you, exercising your FREE WILL, chose to close her up and send her to the recovery room... 

One might even go as far as to question why she needed that cholecystectomy. Why did God "give" that to her? Why did she seem to recover for a couple of days and then die? Well, $#!+ happens, that's why. I have no other explanation for that. But I need no further explanation as to why she died. It just happened. It's too pragmatic, I know, but what can I do about it?

It was sad. It was terrible. It was sudden. It was shocking. It was many things, but it was not punishment. I don't believe in that God. I don't think that omnipotent, all-punishing God exists. I believe in something superior, in something grand and marvelous, something capable of giving life. I believe in something who placed a whole lot of wonderful characteristics in one woman and made her my Aunt. I believe that I am a better person for having known her. And I thank life and the universe for the coincidence or conspiracy of having placed her in my life.

I do appreciate that my family back at home feels "in peace" because it was God's decision to take her away. I think everyone is entitled to deal with pain any way they want (that is why I write this Blog in English and not in Spanish). Good for them. I'm glad that they can thank and blame one poor Guy or Gal for everything that happens: weather, traffic, problems and blessings.

I don't think it was God, but I don't know. I'm a simple agnostic mortal who knows nothing. But it was a lousy coincidence that my Aunt had to die right before Christmas. To whom do I write my letter of complaint?


  1. I'm so sorry about the loss of your aunt. And I'm also sorry that people act like self-righteous assholes when they're trying to make sense of things. I guess that happens everywhere.

  2. @Momnesia: I think it's particularly unfair to my atheist cousin. Everyone should be allowed to believe whatever they want to believe, however "wrong" they may be. I am also terribly sad, but I have to admit I am also a little bit glad to be so far away right now...

  3. Hey Nat. I read all the post and I agree in a lot of it and let me tell you you sound a lot more like, what I call myself, a deist. I believe in a supreme being that created life and the universe but he does not mess with it. He/she is there present but does not mingle with our pitty concerns and I am VERY sure he had nothing to do with your aunts death nor my sister death that was also a result of malpractice

    1. I am so sorry about your sister. I guess you more than anyone can appreciate what my "atheist" cousin is feeling. But, like I said, everyone deals with sadness and pain in the best way they can... some people sue the doctors, some people go to church, some people write blogs...