My Nana lay there, looking like a Madame Tussaud’s version of herself. What struck me was not her absence, but the very tangible presence of her death: I could feel it.
The weight of her loss was so enormous, it felt like it had its own gravitational pull. Perhaps it didn’t. Perhaps it was the psychological loss I felt. But it seemed more than that.
Today, while attending a christening. I couldn’t help think of Nana’s funeral. The same hymn was sung at both. Each time, I sang with all my heart.
For both occasions, funeral and christening, I had the best seat in the house. As her only Granddaughter, I sat right at the front of the service when saying farewell to Nana. And today, as a Godmother, I took a similar vantage point.
If you read this blog you will have gleaned that while I am supportive, and even jealous of others’ religion, I just can’t find God. Despite looking for him now and then, I remain an atheist. The decision to be Godmother was therefore one I struggled with.
I explained to the parents, who regularly attend church, that I am not religious. After some open discussions, and with their blessing, I quickly felt thrilled and comfortable with taking on the role.
When I was feeling particularly doubtful of my ability to fulfil my duties, a cynical voice inside my head tried to make itself heard: if God really is nothing to me, there really is nothing to worry about.
What I failed to realise is how that ‘nothing’ is very much a ‘something’.
It’s not that I don’t believe in God, it’s that I do believe there is no God. I guess that is part of the faith that guides me.
Today in the service, the words I needed to utter stuck momentarily in my throat. I had not realised how strong my faith is.
In retrospect though, I don’t regret taking on the role of the Godless Godmother. I feel so honoured and privileged to have this little person in a special place in my life. I plan to take my duties seriously.
But still, was what I did ‘good’ or ‘right’?
Is it that black and white?
Or am I, at the end of a lovely, fulfilling and spiritual day, just making something out of nothing?