As an agnostic who is unsure whether an intelligent persona author’s the universe and our lives or whether an immortal soul leaves our physical body when we die, I realized only in the past week that perhaps one of the the biggest challenges of being hesitant to believe is that when a loved one dies, the burden of not knowing is all the more felt.

Unlike someone who believes in an immortal soul who can be consoled that the loved one goes on living in another world, I as an agnostic is only comfortable of believing one thing: that the loved one is gone.

Things could be a lot easier if only I drop my hesitation to believe. I could perhaps shorten my grief and move on faster knowing that my loved one never totally left after all.

But I see that this hesitation to believe could also have an advantage.

Without a narrative to console me about the passing of my loved one, I confront the very human reality as it is, to feel its pain as it is, the unadulterated neutral truth, and as it always does, grow from that pain.