Suffering, Prayer and God's Will - Part 2

Having been a widow at 30 with two small children, I have experienced the christian response to suffering and death.  This is supposed to be the one point where all of this christian belief is vindicated -  where it all is worth it.  It was cold comfort to say the least.

There were so many people who wanted to help and they did so by praying.  I appreciated their desire to help.  Just not so much their way of doing it. I was still very much alone with our semi-private horror.  While it might be somewhat encouraging to see people who have it so much worse than you do - even to the point of making you grateful for the small scope of your own problems - it is very lonely being on the other side. 

I had a wise moment I think on the night my late husband died of brain cancer.  I was sitting in his palliative care room trying to rock our toddler son to sleep.  Little tyke had an ear infection and needed to be with me.  I thought about how very strange it was to be doing this, given our modern way of dealing with death.  I felt very alone in my situation.  But then I thought about the generations upon generations of wives and mothers who had cared for their children while watching their children's father struggle to breathe.  While it was still excruciating, I did not feel so alone.  I was in good company - the company of many strong mothers.

Things are good now.  The strength I found in myself has given me the confidence to move resolutely on with my life, rather than wallowing in unhelpful questions like 'why'.  'Why not' is indeed the answer.  I am grateful (to noone in particular) that I was better prepared intellectually, mentally, financially and emotionally than most women would be in a similar situation.  And letting go of the compartmentalized faith that persisted in my brain was an important part of that.

I have to deal with a daughter who wants to know if her Daddy is in heaven or if she will see him again.  She also wants to know whether he can see her.  I just tell her what I can with the honesty and integrity of a caring mom.  I tell her that I don't really believe in such a thing as heaven, but since I have never died, I don't know for sure what happens.  And I tell her that if her Daddy could see her that he would be very proud of her.  She's adjusting to it.

Views: 52

Tags: cancer, courage, fortitude, suffering

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Comment by Steph S. on September 15, 2011 at 12:16am
Lana sorry to hear of your suffering.
Comment by annet on September 14, 2011 at 8:50pm
Thanks for sharing the wise moment. Your daughter is a lucky girl.

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