Adam Borowski

Coping with death of someone dear to you

I don’t need to tell you that death is all around us. Yes, it’s great to enjoy life but the Grim Reaper is always around. When you lose someone, be it a family member, a friend or even a stranger you had a connection with, you feel a sense of emptiness only God, perhaps prayer, can fill.

When you lose someone who’s one-of-a-kind, it’s extremely hard to find solace here on Earth because the person dear to you is no longer here. Not physically, anyway. No wonder one can be sucked into the abyss of desperation, deciding the only way forward is to leave this world and join the deceased on the other side. It’s an absurd mindset for someone who hasn’t experienced a true loss.

Only those who have lost someone dear to them can truly grasp that terrible feeling and how desperate people are to find reasons to keep going. Religion tells you that you’re going to meet that person again. Atheism tells you that you’re never going to see them again. They are gone. Ceased to exist. Oblivion, forever, just like oblivion before you were born.

We want to believe people dear to us are still out there somewhere, maybe even right next to us. We want psychics to reassure us by allegedly communicating with our family members, friends, even strangers, dear to us. We want to believe it isn’t a scam. We look for signs in the wind or knocks in our house, hoping that a set of synchronicities, winks from beyond if you will, manifesting in our lives are actually messages from the dead.

We want to believe that spirit guides are watching over us. Personally, I like the idea of spirit guides. It’s logical to me, assuming we survive our physical deaths. Souls who are out there – in infinity, heaven, call it whatever you want – help those who are still here, on Earth.

Say you’re a writer on your way to publish your first novel. Your personal situation is complicated. Maybe there’s a soul out there, a stranger, who knows exactly what you’re going through and volunteers/is assigned (by God?) to watch over you and give you signs, nudge you in the right direction. Maybe, if that soul was a terrible human being on Earth, it’s their purgatory, their cleansing of sins, their penance. Still, would a spirit of someone successful waste their time on an intellectually impaired loser? I doubt that. Just like a mentor, here on Earth, wouldn’t waste his or her time on someone hopeless. Would a spirit guide try to communicate with an atheist? What for when all the signs are going to get ignored?

Be it here on Earth or out there, it seems our existence is largely transactional. Why wouldn’t a spirit be attracted to wealth? We often talk about spirits as if they are some extraterrestrial entities, maybe even demons. Come on, if you believe we survive death, then spirits aren’t some extraterrestrial entities. They are incorporeal beings who lived a human life. They are human. It stands to reason they keep their personality, likes, and dislikes. Some want to have more sex and drink more booze. Dybbuks prowl the neighborhood, looking for people to possess just to have more fun in the physical.

I can already see psychiatrists and psychologists rolling their eyes at me and saying it’s all just wishful thinking, maybe even psychosis.  How disrespectful. As long as it doesn’t interfere with our lives and gives us hope, why take that belief away from others? Then again, some people just need to be right. I’m sure you know the type. An atheist who never forgets to tell you he isn’t a believer, regardless of the occasion. At the same time, he or she is trying to figure out what your belief system is. To me, people who constantly scan society for signs of anyone who thinks differently just to confront them/debate them are insecure about their own beliefs. Sure, there are fanatics who want to make everyone think like them but most people who are at peace with their belief system don’t need to debate or confront everyone their meet.

I’m glad AI is advancing and we’re talking about digital immortality. But let’s be honest here: are you really going to let yourself be uploaded to some digital afterlife, only to end up being controlled by some AI like in the Matrix? I’m not against advancement but I don’t think that I’d let myself be uploaded to any kind of digital afterlife, even if that were possible.

It’s actually a great topic for philosophers and religious scholars: digital afterlife versus the doctrine of salvation, damnation and whatever happens after death. Do we risk being stuck in what could be a digital gulag forever, never actually seeing our loved ones, just digital copies? Or do we take the ultimate gamble the old-fashioned way and die, facing the undiscovered country we hope is more than just eternal darkness?

Ponder that when you have a moment.

About the Author
Adam Borowski is a technical Polish-English translator with a background in international relations and a keen interest in understanding how regime propaganda brainwashes people so effectively. He's working on a novel the plot of which is set across multiple realities. In the novel, he explores the themes of God, identity, regimes, parallel universes, genocide and brainwashing. His Kyiv Post articles covering a wide range of issues can be found at
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