Researchers from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago say older people are more likely to believe in god. They assert this to be true unilaterally throughout the world. Per the article:


Across the world, people have varying levels of belief (and disbelief) in God, with some nations being more devout than others. But new research reveals one constant across parts of the globe: As people age, their belief in God seems to increase. The new study is based on data collected as part of the General Social Survey by researchers at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.... "This suggests that belief in God is especially likely to increase among the oldest groups, perhaps in response to the increasing anticipation of mortality."...."Belief in God has decreased in most countries, but the declines are quite modest, especially when calculated on a per annum basis," the researchers write in their April 18 report of the survey....."If the modest, general trend away from belief in God continues uninterrupted, it will accumulate to larger proportions and the atheism that is now prominent mainly in northwest Europe and some ex-Socialist states may spread more widely," they write, adding that it is possible the trend could go the other way, with belief in God seeing a rebound.

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I think there is both beauty and ugliness in both. I think nature has an ugly part because it can be so ruthlessly unfair to good natured things.

Love your thoughts Joan.  I thought of my Dad when you said  "We sit with one another when one of us goes through the process of dying and we celebrate their lives, even as they return to the earth."

My dad died 3 years ago.  Several of us children spoke at his funeral.  The others talked quite a bit about him being with God and seeing him again.   He was my hero and I miss him, but even though I know I'll never see him again, he's in my memory.  In my talk, I think I celebrated his life by talking about my remembrances of him:  What he taught me, the good influence he was in my life, and the life of all that knew him.

I'm thinking that I should talk more to people about what a wonderful human being he was, to keep his example alive. 

Last night I watched the movie "All of Me" (Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin).  Steve hired a band to walk behind the casket playing upbeat music, an idea I'm in favor of.  If I have any influence in a funeral again, I'm going to try to include upbeat, joyful music to further celebrate the life of the person.

He's in my memory." . . .  

Yes, that is how it is with all of us.

However, when we die those memories disappear.

This is why I am writing a huge autobiography in order that my children and their descendants will know of my memories, of those of my ascendants, for otherwise they will be lost too. 

I like the idea of writing a huge autobiography.  I've written a very small amount of my memories of dad, and some of my autobiography.  I plan on writing more.

Indeed, yes.

And don't I wish that my dad had written his autobiography---and Mum hers too. 

The best that I can do is record everything that I can remember about them and especially of my years at home with them---which lasted until I left for University. 

Another thing worth doing is having one's DNA tested and explained. I got this done for me and my wife. And then at least research the basics of genealogy by interviewing one's parents deeply before they die. I did this with my mother, but I thought of it too late for my dad. 

Yes, those old stories die with one's death. I'm the family historian but I write the dates and facts. My cousin, Paula, writes the stories and yield far more value to those who read them. 

Thank you Idaho Spud. I like your idea of remembering and celebrating with joyful music. What kind of music do you think you may choose? I love the rhythm and joy of "When the Saints ..." but the lyrics don't fit my experience. I wonder what I would choose?

I have chosen two pieces of music to be played at my funeral---which will take place as a burial in a natural environment woodland setting. 

This is one of them: "May the long time sun shine upon you".

I'd like to know what choice of music others might have in mind for themselves. 

This is lovely. The image of a natural woodland evokes such peace. 

Yes Joan.  So peaceful.  A natural woodland just may be my favorite place.

I have already made arrangements to have my body donated to science when I die so I don't expect to have a funeral per se. I can still think about what song I would like to celebrate my life. Ideally, it would convey a combination of courage, humility and fun. I'm not so sure a song like that has been written yet. I think I would need three different songs to convey these feelings completely.  

I've been an organ donor for a long time, but never thought of donating my body to science.  Sounds like a good idea.  If I die at 90, I would guess my organs wouldn't be any use for transplanting anymore, but the body could still be used as education, training & such.




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