The boy and I were/are not religious. I tried agnosticism for a while until I realized that liking an idea was not the same as believing it might be true. The boy grew up in a churchy culture but concluded long ago that with so many conflicting and implausible stories competing as the Truth – the one he grew up with was no more likely than the rest.
I can see where it would be comforting to believe there’s something more beyond this life, and that in some beautiful karmic future I will have the boy back again. That doesn’t change the fact that wanting and believing aren’t the same.
Truthfully, I don’t think it would help me, anyway. If I believed a personal god had chosen to remove the boy from this life, I would never forgive them.
What I do take comfort in is knowing he spent the years he did have well. He packed more living into his brief span than most manage in a full lifetime. He pursued his passions, he never stopped learning or teaching and inspiring others to learn. He treated everyone with respect and was a role model others aspired to emulate. He will be remembered by many as a good friend, and as a kind, generous, brilliant man who had a meaningful impact on many lives and left the world a better place.
I am grateful to have shared so much of that life. I know I helped him gain years he otherwise would not have had. I am glad he knew I loved him. I know he loved me too. That is where I will look for comfort.