I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell. I even feel kinda weird capitalizing the first letters to make them proper places, as I see that as a sort of a way of saying that they definitely exist and are for sure, 100%, exactly like some ancient text describes them. But, you see, I’m not here to put down everyone’s beliefs or belittle their ways of life by any means. Actually, I want to praise the believers for having a solid foundation in something that gives them strength and hope during this, the Era o’ Bullshit; it’s nice to see some people use their faith (in whatever) as their own personal set of Legos instead of a set of unreadable diagrams and instructions.
To get back on topic, this little blog…essay…bunch of words is for me to let you know about a little drunken eulogy I had recited while I was playing D&D with some friends over the summer.
“Charlie, I thought you said we were getting back on track? How is this related to Heaven an–”
Shhhhhhut. Shut. Shut your mouth. Gimme a second.
Now, I don’t remember the whole thing by heart because aaaayyyyy, I was inebriated. Nevertheless, I remember bits and pieces and remember Jake and Nate telling me how fucking beautiful it was. In order for me to explain it, here is some back story:
Jake, Nate, and I were playing some D&D, throwing some dice, doing tequila shots bigger than the Hulk’s fist, and all-in-all having a merry time. I was Camedyr Stoneforge (thank you, thank you, please hold your applause), a Dwarf who was fond of the drink and even fonder of the bonds he had with complete strangers. The quest involved three men who were invited to a fallen comrade’s funeral to celebrate his life and, after all was said and done, receive specific instructions on where they could find unfathomable treasure and fortune…
Or sum’in like that. I was drunk, see? You can’t expect me to be J.R.R. Motherfuckin’ Tolkien after a night of nerd debauchery.
Anywho, the night went on and the drinks were getting slammed. In the game we were finally at the funeral, sitting in different seats, wondering why we were there for this dude’s funeral. Camedyr Stoneforge, a man with very few fucks to give, was not going to sit still during the lovely memorial. Nay, when asked if anyone had any kind words to say about the deceased, my bearded ass stood up to a towering 4′ 6″ and stumbled my way to the front of the crowd. Once the audience was captivated/too scared to boo him offstage, Ol’ Camedyr — ahem, I — spoke these (paraphrased and soberly enhanced) words in remembrance of the Stranger:
I did not know this man as some of you knew him. I did not pass him in the morning hours or visit him in the night. I do not remember his birthday or dammit, even his name. There are two things I do know, however. The first is that he was a good man. I know it. You know it. Otherwise, this ceremony would be one for the crickets. The second: he is dead. And whether you believe he will ascend to the sun or become a part of your vegetable garden, the fact of the matter is that we will most likely never see him again. The way I see it, he will not go to the sky and look down upon us, nor will he emerge from a cocoon as a colorful butterfly. He is dead.
Cheer up! That is not to say he will not have everlasting life. The opposite, in fact, is true: HE WILL LIVE ON FOREVER. In our memories. Each and every one of us holds a memory of this man in one way or another. His soul has been divided among the hundred of us so that he may never become less than what he ever was. That is heaven, my friends. Do not look to the clouds or to the forest to see him again. Simply close your eyes and remember. That is heaven. That is where he will forever be happy.
Me… Charlie Gallagher… I said that shit! Not only that, but I more or less said it while piss drunk at a card table. OK, Camedyr Stoneforge said it, but without me there would be no Level 4 Dwarf Alcoholic, would there? And for the past few months, I’ve been thinking that maybe that short, hiccuping prick had a point.
I had considered myself an Agnostic/Atheistic person before this game of D&D, though I had so many more questions and was kind of unsure about everything. Now that I’ve seriously thought about my own beliefs, I think this whole memory thing is a great way to think about life after death. Maybe there is no Heaven, reincarnation, second dimension, Tree of Life, etc. Maybe what we think of when we hear “everlasting life” is just the notion that the memories people hold within their heads are pieces of an always friendly, always happy, always smiling you. They’ll constantly close their eyes and see you, everyday, no matter where they are. All it takes is a split second and a reminder and POOF! there you are. The hundreds or even thousands of people that you’ve touched over your years each have at least one memory of you, and those little memories create an entire person when brought together. That is how we live forever. That, to me, is a beautiful thing that no one can ever take away.