How Many Universes are There?
My grandmother was a religious woman -- her identity was firmly rooted in her faith. So firmly rooted, so sturdy that she never considered a divorce, and forced herself to stay in an abusive relationship with a grandfather I've never known. She believed in God, the afterlife, the existence of heaven, purgatory, and hell. She believed in all the things I never envision myself believing or accepting as truth.
I was raised Catholic, sent to Sunday school from the age of 7 until confirmation at age 14. Seven years, and I don't think any sort of faith took root in me. I'm a skeptic by nature, still unsure about my willingness to believe in a God that has never presented me any miracles in life. There were times when it felt that my grandmother was disappointed in me for being a firmer believer of science than the bible.
Wherever she is, though, I hope she doesn't think too ill of me when she sees that it is science that is comforting me as I try to work through this grief, not God.
You see, physics is perhaps the easiest science to romanticize. It is the easiest by far, because it is the discipline of science that seeks to not only understand the physical world in which we live, but all the worlds beyond our minuscule pixel in the ever expanding photo of the universe. It entails a certain existential quest to discover how we came to be, and extends to where we eventually will end up.
One theory suggests that, for every decision we make, a new set of parallel universes spawn. This repeats each time within those universes too, and the eventual sum of those universes reaches towards infinity. I exist in a number of multiverses outside of my own, and so does my grandmother. So, it begs the question: in how many of those universes is she still alive? In how many of those universes has she passed well before the one I'm currently in?
Within those parallel universes, exists a subset wherein she and I are closer than we are in this one (both physically and emotionally), and another subset wherein she and I are not. And I do hope, that in a smaller subset of those universes, I live more openly, more freely, and that showing love and affection does not instantly make me recoil. There must exist a reality in which I will not have the lingering regrets like I do in this one.
But I do not know definitively, whether or not those parallel universes exist, let alone the realities I wish I was currently in. It is good to hope, regardless.
The universe presents us with more questions than answers. Space itself is constantly expanding at an accelerating pace. The empty spaces that are created in that expansion force all the stars in our galaxy, and the galaxies beyond us, to grow apart. It is, in a literal sense, natural for everything to eventually drift away from each other. Separation is an inevitable part of our reality. It was inevitable for her to no longer exist in mine.
These are the truths and theories that are helping me to sew close the gaping wound her absence created.
These are the truths and theories that will help me become whole again.