Satanism, Christianity and the death of my mother.Posted: January 14, 2015
On the death of my Mother.
Firstly I would like to thank all those who have expressed their sympathies or sent their condolences to me and my family over the last few weeks. Your thoughts and your support have been both helpful and much appreciated. Thank you very much.
My mum had been ill with early onset dementia for a long time. Her dementia was caused by a series of minor strokes caused by a combination of stress and an inherent medical condition I will not go into here. As far as the medics are able to assess I have not inherited that condition myself. It has been very distressing over the past six years to watch my mum, a vibrant, intelligent woman become ever more feeble in mind and in body. While I think she still knew I was somebody special to her, I don’t think she has really known exactly who I was for the last year or so. Her death was not totally unexpected but still came as a great shock to me and her last few days were very difficult and distressing to witness. Even so I am glad I was by her side, and when the moment came there was a look of peace in her eyes that I don’t think any religion or psychologist could fully explain.
This only happened three weeks ago so I think I am still in the very early stages of grief/bereavement or whatever this phase of life experience should be called. I feel sad and tired but life goes on and for all sorts of reasons I think my mum would want be to get back to living as fully as possible as soon as I am ready. I have Sophie and Tina to support me and so I believe I will be fine.
I loved my mum very much and still do. She was the most kind and caring mum when I was a child and in many ways my closest and most trusted friend as an adult. I miss her very much and choose to believe she is happy and whole again now in some other form of existence.
Actually I don’t know exactly where she is and I have felt slightly envious of those who have a strong faith in heaven, nirvana or reincarnation. Satanists don’t really have any fixed or standard beliefs about the afterlife. We are called to be honest with ourselves and sometimes that is hard. I think there are many possibilities which could be true which include some sort of spiritual afterlife, reincarnation and the possibility that there is nothing at all after death. I don’t know which is true. I can say I still feel a connection to my Mum and therefore I choose to think that she still exists in some way that I hope is happy and without the cares and troubles she had in this world. I know for certain she deserves happiness and if she lives again her life should be long, happy and carefree.
Some people may be surprised to hear that Satanists have no universal belief about what happens after this life. Satanism is about individual beliefs, lifestyle and growth. Many atheistic Satanists probably believe that death is the end; a full stop. Some Satanists believe they will go to hell, usually not in the way that other religions describe hell though. I do not claim to know the answer but if hell is a place of continued growth and existence in the presence of Satan and the other spiritual energies I identify with, then I will be content to dwell there when the time comes.
However the death of my mother has brought to the surface some internal struggles and doubts concerning my beliefs.
My mother was not particularly religious and was genuinely open to considering and respecting a wide range of beliefs, but she was brought up as a Catholic and I would say Christianity formed the backbone of her personal beliefs. Her funeral was Christian and I went to as much trouble as I could to organise it in the way she would have liked with the service being lead by her favourite priest. I must say that he was very kind and caring. He knows I am not Christian but did not probe, and from my point of view it was certainly not the time to get into a religious discussion or debate. There were points in the service where I felt uncomfortable, but I hope and feel it was the kind of thing my mum would have wanted. I also gave a tearful address about her which was hard but also therapeutic. So while I felt out of place which was a bit sad at my own mother’s funeral, I have no criticisms of the way the priest and other members of the congregation acted towards me. While I never discussed my beliefs I had my girlfriend with me all the time and I must say there was no trace of criticism or disapproval. Progress I suppose.
One of the greatest sadnesses of the past few years is that I was not able to have discussions with my mother. In the past she has been the yardstick by which I measure much of what I do. I haven’t always followed her advice exactly, but I have always valued it. She met most of my boyfriends and girlfriends in the past and while she would never say outright what she thought of them, she was usually right! Spirituality has always been important to me and she discussed most of the twists and turns I made on my own path. She accepted me as a Taoist, a Pagan and a witch, in fact I think she was becoming quite interested in witchcraft herself. But that was when her illness began to bite. After that her memory and ability to communicate began to fade progressively and so what was perhaps for me the most fundamental and transformative change in my spiritual path, becoming a Satanist, was something I was never able to discuss with her while she was alive. Keeping in mind her Christian upbringing, I always felt this was the step it would be hardest for her to simply accept.
On some level I do believe that now she is whole again, free of the constraints of her disease, and that she can and does know everything about me. I always told myself that if my Mum died and I got a strong sense that from her new perspective Satanism was wrong or bad for me, and she made me aware of it, I would give it up. Over the past few weeks I have been listening for her voice, her guidance in everything that has been going on around me and in my dreams and quiet moments. After a while I began to realise that I dreaded her disapproval and that it would not be so easy or even possible to stop being a Satanist. The idea that I could be in conflict with my mums wishes after her death, or that she might disapprove or be disappointed in me has been a distressing thought that haunted me for several days. All the more distressing because I realised more surely than ever that I couldn’t and wouldn’t change my spiritual beliefs even if it met upsetting her; my lovely mum, the person I have loved and respected longer than anybody in my lifetime.
I am a Satanist through and through. My heart and soul are satanic. Satanism is the scaffolding that all my beliefs and my lifestyle are based on. Satan is a real and welcome presence in my life. My girlfriend and my daughter are Satanists. And I am pretty sure that explaining Satanism to those who are willing to listen is going to be a significant part of my future life. So that is who and what I am now.
What has happened in the last week or so is that I have had a growing sense that my mother loves and accepts me for who and what I am regardless of whatever labels are attached. She is outside of our time and space now and probably knows everything that I am trying to learn and make sense of in this life. I also have the feeling that she wants me to be me, that she wants me to live fully and learn wisely. I will try to do all of this.
Ultimately I think probably all people choose both the life and the religious values that have the potential to teach them the lessons they need in order to progress spiritually. Therefore, while I fundamentally disagree with many things in Christianity and other religions, I still think they have a place and a value to certain people at certain times.
My mother was an incredibly kind and caring person, so while I may be walking a darker path than she would have chosen for herself, I still have her example to act as a compass when I feel lost.