What I’ve Unlearned

It was up there somewhere, that ideal place where the dead waited for me.
I learned about afterlife and angels long ago when I was too young not to do so.
I soaked up all those hopes back then, a sponge listening, not thinking,
nodding my head enthusiastically, giving my heart to the yearning desire
of certainty that there was something wonderful beyond this world.
Children learn better than adults anything they sometimes perhaps should not.
They absorb ideas because that’s what they do.
Once I knew death, I began believing things to ease imaginings of distressing outcomes.
The trap for children is that they may not question what they’ve been taught,
follow blindly not realizing the beliefs they grabbed hold of
in order, say, to allay childhood fears, to make them bearable,
should probably undergo some examination, at least,
when an age to do so rationally is reached.
This doesn’t mean doubting everything you know,
examining all beliefs in order to throw them away.
It’s easy to envision some kind of good life beyond death awaits,
but hard to know if that’s true unless you accept it on faith.
This lesson some grow to confirm more hopefully as they age,
pondering a blessed hereafter more intensively as time grows late.
I’ve reached the point where I now recall
how I rejected my deep church association,
and I contemplate more often what might await me at the end.

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