The last few weeks have seen a plethora of articles and programmes about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales 20 years ago.
Their frequency is gradually dying down now like aftershocks after an earthquake.
She was quite a remarkable person who impacted on so many lives and it was a truly shocking end for her.
At the time there was a colossal outpouring of grief and emotion.
The demonstrations of emotion were such that I remember people at the time saying that things would never be the same again.
I recall being sceptical at the time of such a brash assumption and feel that time has justified my scepticism.
Things are the same as they ever were.
People are still just as horrible and critical of one another as before Diana’s example of loving compassion for those ostracised by society.
People are capable of making the most amazing assumptions though without necessarily thinking things through.
I read recently that Sir Winston Churchill who loved painting, said, “When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the subject.”
Sir Winston’s assumption is common to so many that when we die we all go to heaven.
There is also a common assumption by many, which I would not disagree with, that the soul of a person lives on after death.
Even Prince William in one of the recent programmes remarked how he often felt his mother’s presence with him.
A lot of people make those sorts of comments about deceased loved ones.
Religion of a formal kind is not generally well received in our communities though.
The vague hopeful spirituality of many is preferred to the fixed lines of institutionalised beliefs.
The idea that faith and how you behave in life has a bearing on whether you go to heaven when you die – or not – is not popular.
It is one of the reasons why any attempt to put a religious perspective in the press or wherever gets a lot of negative comments.
It is a fact that bad religion has done and does do a lot of harm in the world but true religion of the right kind is a force for good when it is properly applied.
Even that statement I know will get people shouting, “Religious crank!”
But if my Christian beliefs are true and I live by them then I know heaven is my destination.
But if I am wrong and still live by the principles of love and compassion then I haven’t lost anything, have I?