After Life Thoughts – Amber Fillerup Clark

Since sharing that I have left the Mormon church – I have realized how many of you are in similar situations. For me, one of the scariest thoughts was what to do with the after life beliefs I had previously held.. And I wanted to share some of my thoughts from the last year or so with you in case it happens to help anyone or spark any new ideas for yourself. This is a very vulnerable topic and one that in reality, no one is “right” about because none of us actually know for sure. We can all hold beliefs and have faith in those but none of us can tell the other they are wrong, only that they don’t share the same belief.

As a lot of you already know, the mormon church believes that families can be together forever. I would say it is one of the main pillars of the church is this idea of eternal families. And when you leave mormonism you do sort go, holy crap wait is it true or not? I think what we believe should really just be what brings us the most peace while on earth. Not in an insensitive way, but in a very literal way, none of us will care if what we believed wasn’t true once we are dead, because… we will be dead. So we just need to have peace and comfort here and now. I totally see how the idea of eternal families is a fantastic belief that can bring so much peace to those who have suffered loss. I actually think it is a very healthy belief to carry with you as long as people don’t lean on it as a crutch when being there for others grieving (not allowing them to properly grieve because you will “see them again” so why are you still so sad type of thing) 

I also really do not believe that you even need to necessarily be religious in order to believe that you will see loved ones again in a heaven or in another universe or whatever .. I think that is as plausible as us ending up here in the first place is. So I first and foremost don’t think that belief needs to be thrown out when leaving religion if that belief still holds value for you. There are no rules when it comes to this stuff, you can do it however you want. 

I used to think it was sad when people didn’t believe in afterlife – I now don’t think it’s sad at all, I think it’s a very realist and practical outlook and for some the comfort blanket of afterlife isn’t necessary. And I can also see how that might make people really soak up what we get to have here on earth more, embracing the finality once it’s done. I think for me I have to cling onto something because I think if I ever lost a child or David I don’t think I could survive without that thought.. whether it be we jump to another universe and continue on with life but with a new storyline or we reincarnate or we are up in heaven having a fancy lil party. 

Rosie recently brought up reincarnation and mentioned how she really likes that idea. And was expanding on where she would ideally like to go .. but she said any animal or human just not an fish 🙂 and I told her I think if you have that request the universe can make that happen! I think there are a lot of different options for afterlife and whatever makes someone feel peaceful, amazing. The main thing for me when teaching my kids is just to teach them that no one is “wrong” .. we can all be open minded to other’s ideas and as long as they are not harming others we can respect those beliefs and share ours as well. Our beliefs can also shift and change – as we listen to others we might hear something we really love that we want to bring into our own belief system. Really, nothing is permanent. 

As a lot of you know, David’s brother passed away about 6 years ago, and then shortly after his dad passed. And then just recently his mom. We have also had both of my grandpa’s die in the last decade or so. And then of course Chauncey :(. We have been fortunate to be left with a lot of really special things of theirs. I have so many of my grandpa’s paintings and I keep them on display in the home and also in a room upstairs where I paint now. I know this might sound cooky but I am 100% convinced that the paintings hold energy that I simply cannot explain in any way other than to say I absolutely feel it and feel like I have weirdly gotten to know him more or feel close to him through the paintings. I also have felt his energy pushing me creatively the past year.. It has felt so palpable for me that it really got me thinking about energy in general. We know that energy cannot be destroyed.. And we know that we can *feel* energy both good and bad and everything in between. We know it is there. I started to really love the idea that when we die we leave behind all of our energy. Especially in things like art or anything we put energy into (journals, cook books that were used, clothing, etc).. Maybe this is why art has such value to certain people and not to others. Maybe we do have art/aesthetic preferences of course but maybe we also love the energy that comes with it. 

I really believe that we not only leave behind energy but that people can choose to accept the energy or not. For example when we feel bad energy that doesn’t mean it automatically starts seeping into us.. We either let it come in or not. So I started like a year ago actively trying to “accept” the energy left behind by our loved ones who have left. Qualities about them that I really loved and the passion they had for the things we now have in our homes and hoping to let some of that passion enter my realm. It might sound silly but I feel like I have started to have deeper relationships with them even after they are gone – like I am able to get to know them. Which for me has been really lovely because when David and I got married, his mom and dad were on their mission in Costa Rica. Then when they got back, we were living in NYC and they were not home for long before leaving on a second mission to Patagonia. In Patagonia is where David’s dad found he had a brain tumor, which he died from shortly after coming home. I always feel so emotional that I never got to get to know him more, because he truly just seems so remarkable and so cool. Being open to this idea of accepting his energy – the energy he left behind in his film camera that david now uses, the rocks he found while traveling the world as a geologist, the books he read, the photos he took. He was so creative and adventurous and free spirited and I love being able to soak all that up. And David’s mom was sooooo angelic and kind and patient and creative and such a great painter. I am hoping to get some of her painting supplies so I can use those and again hopefully have some of her loveliness rub off on me. Ehren David’s brother was always thrifting and being creative and was so enthusiastic – he loved a good thrifted find and I have absolutely accepted all of his treasure hunting energy and love to look at the pieces he gave us that we have on display in our home… along with so many other things from each individual. So many amazing qualities we can take on from our loved ones who have left us it’s so special. 

This has also made me realize the importance of just putting energy into things that can be left behind for our loved ones. How amazing to have energy filled items that they can then accept all of our wonderful qualities and use them throughout their lives. 

Anyway, I feel like this is ending somewhat abruptly but those are just my “work in progress” thoughts at the moment. I would love to hear yours as well so feel free to share in the comments and please be respectful to all! Xoxoxoxo 

#Life #Thoughts #Amber #Fillerup #Clark

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