Are Dead People Voyeurs?

CEB274F9-BD76-4B99-A978-93702D2271F0I was watching a TV show the other night when one character said to the other, “You’re father would be so proud of you. I bet he’s looking down from heaven right now with a big smile on his face.”

Yeah, right. Do people really belief that their dearly departed friends and relatives are looking down — or looking up, as the case may be — at them to see what they’re up to?

“Oh my God, Dan, that was the best sex ever. I bet your mom is looking down on you from heaven with a big smile on her face.” Oh wait, maybe it was Dan’s father who was looking up at him from hell and masturbating while watching Dan having a hot time with that blonde he picked up at that party. Hmm. Do the souls of dead people masturbate?

Do people really believe that the souls of their deceased loved ones are spending their days in the afterlife spying on their earthbound family members and pals? Do they do it all the time, or do they only do it when something extraordinarily good or bad happens?

And where’s the line? Are there boundaries, safe zones, where you can escape the prying dead eyes of the deceased? Like the bathroom, maybe. Is my mother watching me sitting on the toilet taking a dump and beaming about what a big boy I am?

Is there a statute of limitations? For example, are these dead voyeurs watching over us forever? Or are we sentenced to a finite number years after their death to be subjected to their constant observation? And how large is this circle of voyeurs? Just your parents or does it go back multiple generations and include more watchers than your immediate family and closest friends?

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m an atheist and I don’t believe in the notion of an afterlife. But I’m genuinely interested in hearing from those who are believers. Do you believe that the souls of your deceased loved ones — your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and closest friends — are looking down at you, watching what you’re doing day in and day out?

I’m not trying to be an asshole. I really want to know what you believe. Tell me in the comments or write your own post and link it back to this post.

Thanks!

All Dressed Up and No Place to Go

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I probably shouldn’t do this. It’s against my better judgment. After all, my philosophy is “you do you and I’ll do me.” So I’d be better off just keeping my mouth shut and minding my own business.

I also suggest, should you decide to take a moment and continue reading this post, that you lower your expectations, since I have no special qualifications or knowledge on the subject matter. I am merely expressing my opinion.

So what, exactly, is the subject matter? No biggie. Just the purpose of life is all.

I read a blog post earlier today in which the blogger wrote, “the reason for life is for God to know me, love me, and serve me.” Then the blogger said that our life’s purpose, our mission, is “to know, love, and serve God in this life so we will be happy with Him in Eternity.”

Now I’m not being critical of this blogger for her beliefs. Hey, whatever floats your boat, you know. But what she wrote did confuse me. The two statements seem contradictory to me. Is the purpose of life to let God know, love, and serve us? Or is it for us to know, love, and serve God? Which is it? Or is it both?

The blogger also can’t understand why anyone would fear death, because death is what allows us to be happy with God for eternity. Death, the blogger contends, is life changed, not life taken away.

I think the blogger has a point. Why bother fearing death if the sole purpose of life is to “be happy with God for eternity” and death brings you closer to it?

You see, this is why I’m an atheist. I believe that death is the end, that there is no afterlife, no eternity to be spent at the right hand of God. So I want to live my life to the fullest because death, I believe, is life taken away.

The blogger ended her post by writing, “The atheist reasoning best explained from an epitaph etched on a gravestone. ‘All dressed up and no place to go.’”

Yes, I agree with that. When it comes to death, the end is not a new beginning. It’s just the end and there is no place else to go.


Written for today’s Your Daily Word Prompt, “qualification,” for the Word of the Day Challenge, “expectation,” and for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “moment.”

Nothing Personal

bare wallsYou’ve seen those TV crime dramas, right? You know, the ones where the cops bust into the apartment of the suspect. They look around, trying to get a sense of the man, a glimpse into his personality.

One of the cops says to his partner, “No pictures on the walls, no books on the shelves, no personal knickknacks. This place hardly looks lived in. What’s up with this guy? What makes him tick?”

Well, I was that guy. No, not a perpetrator of a crime. I just had no pictures of any kind on my walls, no books on the shelves (actually, no bookshelves, either). No plants to be found. Not even artificial ones. I was a true minimalist.

Only the necessities. A bed and a chest of drawers in the bedroom. A recliner, a small dining table with two chairs, a TV stand on top of which sits a TV in the living room. There’s also a small desk in one corner, along with a desk chair and an empty, two-drawer filing cabinet. The apartment looks totally generic, sterile. Anyone could have been living there. Or no one.

In fact, if some police psychologist came to my apartment, he would probably have tagged me as a shady, isolated type; a drifter who didn’t intend to be there very long, who had no stability or sense of self, and who had few human connections.

But that wasn’t me. Well, at least not when my wife was still alive. In my defense, though, when I moved into my apartment a year and a half ago, shortly after she died, I kind of knew it would be temporary. After more than four decades together, it’s not easy to transition from a life together to a life in solitary.

So when she died, I sold our house, the furniture, and all of our shared personal possessions, at least the ones that my two adult daughters didn’t claim. And because I thought I wouldn’t be in that apartment for very long, I didn’t invest in much to make it my own. But then again, after she died, I didn’t really know, anymore, who I was.

Turns out I wasn’t in that apartment that long. I guess being alone didn’t suit me. And now my daughters, who each live in other parts of the country tending to their own families, have flown in to claim whatever possessions their dearly departed and estranged father left behind, which wasn’t much at all.

Certainly nothing personal.

Friday Fictioneers — Left for Dead

img_1317Beaten, robbed, left for dead. Naked body deep in the woods. Cold, hungry, bleeding, tired. Yet still alive. If only just barely.

How long had he been walking? How far had he come? The trees’ shadows told him he was heading west. But from where? And towards what?

A structure. A cabin perhaps. At the top of a steep hill. Maybe fifty log steps leading up to it. Could there be food? And shelter from the cold?

One step at a time. One cut and bloody foot after the other. Had to get up there.

Or death likely.

(97 words)


Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Karen Rawson.

Friday Fictioneers — The Clock

4950DDC6-25EB-4FBD-9FB7-C6314AB7DE10Sandra opened the closet door and let out an audible gasp. Her boyfriend, Larry, ran over to find her standing there, tears streaming down her face. “What happened?” he asked.

“That clock used to sit on the mantel over our fireplace, and when it stopped keeping time, my father said he threw it out. But there it is,” she said.

“Perhaps you misheard him. Maybe he said he was just going to put it aside,” Larry said.

“Maybe,” admitted Sandra. “But what’s freaking me out is the time on the clock. 11:16, is the exact time my father died.”

(100 words)


Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.