Sometimes I envy those who live their lives and die in the sincere conviction that there is a heaven and, all going well, a loving God awaits them there. Other times I think their self-righteous arrogance is matched only by the arrogance and self-righteousness of atheists. I have no idea whether there is or isn’t a God, whether there is or isn’t an afterlife, and I believe that, in the words of Brian Friel, confusion is not an ignoble condition.
In Morrissey’s Autobiography, there’s a very moving page on the death of his beloved grandmother: “ … I cry at the fixityof Nannie lowered alone into her grave; her very first time alone. She needs us still. The soul is not everything. Her face, her arms, her hands, they need us still, and they are what we know of someone, and all of these have gone. The soul is said to be somewhere, but the soul has only ever been visible through the eyes…”