I am not the most religious person in the world (I was raised Catholic but hardly ever go to Church and rarely pray). But every once in a while, I come across something that makes me think maybe there is some hope for mankind and Christianity. On the outskirts of Rome, the Pope was approached by a little kid who asked the Pope if his dead Atheist dad was in Heaven. According to reports, the boy told the Holy Father “My daddy was a good man” but “wondered if a non-believer could get into Heaven”. The Pope responded by hugging the boy, whom he called Emanuele. Emanuele told Pope Francis that his recently deceased father was “A good man who had all 4 of his children baptized”. The Pope then told the crowd that ““A boy that inherited the strength of his father also had the courage to cry in front of all of us,” “If this man was able to create children like this, it’s true that he is a good man.”
“That man did not have the [gift] of faith, wasn’t a believer. But he had his children baptized. He had a good heart.”
Again, I am not religious, but that was a damn nice thing to say to this kid. And coming from the Head of the Catholic Church…that means a lot. Pope Francis does seem like a good guy. The Pope told the crowd that “God decides who gets into Heaven and God has the heart of a father”. The Holy Father then proceeded to ask the kids in the crowd if they “Think God would a father like Emanuele’s, who was a good man.” The kids yelled, “NO!” The Pope told Emanuele “There’s your answer. God surely was proud of your father, because it is easier as a believer to baptize your children than to baptize them when you are not a believer. Surely this pleased God very much.”
OK. This actually consoles me and gives me hope of getting into Heaven. Until recently, I was unsure if my questioning what I believe in (God and/or religion) was real and if I was going to Hell for thinking like that. This gives me hope that maybe I have a fighting chance of getting into Heaven. I am still sort of asking if Heaven and Hell actually exist, or if it is just something the ancient people made up to scare people into behaving themselves. I used to think–and still do, to an extent–that I was going to Hell for thinking like that. But this is one of the great questions and mysteries in life: What happens when we die?
The closing line is what sort of gives me reassurance that it’s ok and that we are never alone. That no one is ever really gone. The Pope said, “Just do good and we will find a meeting point.” Amen, Pope! I firmly believe that our dearly departed are only gone temporarily. I believe we will see them again. That they are still with us. It seems irrelevant, but to me, this makes perfect sense. There is a Pink Floyd song called Brain Damage/Eclipse. The last line and part of the chorus is “I’ll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon.”
Funnily and ironically enough, the Prince of Darkness, Mr. Ozzy Osbourne has a similar saying in his song Goodbye to Romance. It goes, “I guess that we’ll meet in the end”.
So to all the people I know that have passed on: Pop, Da, my dog Buster, my lizard Gex…I love you all and I’ll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon…and yes, we will meet in the end. Rest peacefully and good bye…for now.