I suppose I should say something about Pope John Paul II. He is dead and I feel sorry for the human being who has died and hope that he did not suffer too much.

I remember when he was elected. It was just a few months after my father died and church had already sort of ended for me. And even before that I had not understood what a pope meant to me. Not even as a Catholic school girl. Sure I knew about the nuns and the priests and the saints, but the pope was an enigma. He was just a man far away dressed in white. Sort of like Jesus.

Untouchable. Unfathomable.

I remember the waiting. Waiting for the smoke to rise. And then when it did, I knew that this was something important I was witnessing. A new pope.

My relationship with the church has continued to twist and morph since, becoming what it is now: I’m an cold observer from the outskirts, one whose actions continue to be ruled by guilt and knowledge of sin and fear of death, yet who does not agree with most of the rules of this church.

Nature is my god. My belief system, the changing seasons, the tides, the sun rising and setting.

And so, I am a lapsed Catholic and a pope has died.
A man has died.
It is April and another man has died.
Rest in peace. Amen.

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