Questioning my Faith
I can pretty much say that from a very young age that I’ve always questioned my faith. In Sunday school they would tell us the stories from the Bible, for example, Adam and Eve. As a child to me this seemed like an unlikely story, a talking snake, really? But because it was the beliefs that my family wanted to instill in me, I listened, and tried very hard to understand and be the stand up Christian child I was being raised to be.
When I was in the 4th grade my father’s step mother passed away, Grandma Helen. She was a surely woman, but I loved her because she was my grandma. This death was the 1st of many that truly made me ask “Why?” and denounce my faith. Most children and even adults have their own vision of death. I imagined my grandmother would just look peaceful and at rest since her soul was no longer with us and was with God. I thought her body would look as she left it. Then again, I did not want to approach her casket because I was at peace with the vision I had created in my mind. One of my Aunties had a different plan in mind, as I was to pay my respects. The woman lying in front of me was not the Grandmother I had seen 2 weeks ago, but a grey shell that once was my grandma. I cried traumatized by the sight and ran out of the church.
5th grade, I remember it like it was yesterday, this was the death that built the rage that I still to this day fight with. It was the phone call that changed many people’s lives forever. It was the phone call that sealed the fate of my faith. My mother’s best friend had taken her own life. This was the woman who would take me to church every Sunday, gave the coat off of her back to the homeless, brought them into her home so they could shower and have a warm meal, found them shelter and gave them a chance when others wouldn’t. She would visit the monastery once a month. Visit the retirement homes and read to those whose family had left them with no intent to return. She was the pillar of strength, and she was stead fast in her faith. In all the teachings that I knew for one to take their own life meant damnation. And at that tender age, I could not accept that the woman I looked up to, the woman who taught me how to be a strong Christian, how to live a life that would be smiled upon by our God, would take her own life. I blamed Him, I questioned Him, and I begged and pleaded for understand, I wanted to know why he would turn his back on one of his devout children in a time that she needed him most, and still to this day, her death, has haunted me, and my questions still remain unanswered.
The next was my Grandma Deloris, she suffered with cancer like my Grandma Helen did for years, she beat it once, and we were all happy and we rejoiced, and I obeyed her by going to church even with the anger from Dagmar’s death a year earlier. The cancer returned, and her body was still too weak, the chemo took her life and I once again asked why He would allow her to suffer through this twice. She was the star of her congregation. Former Opera singer felt her call to her church, the lead of the choir, the lollipop lady, as all of the children knew her was made to suffer.
Her husband, Grandpa Johnnie died nearly 2 years after; we all say it was of a broken heart, even though we know it was an aneurism. He could no longer live without the love of his life.
Having to deal with so much death in such a short time really hit me hard as a child, from the age of 10 to 16, 6 people that were dear to my heart passed away, I became more lost and more angry with every death. I was always told we are never given more then we can handle and at that point my cup was over filled by more then half.
And during such a vulnerable state, I found the crowd that every parent fears their child will join.
Only since I met my husband have I once again, tried to return to my faith, the death of my uncle earlier this year was not mourned but his life and Home Going was celebrated. It was the 1st time in 14 years I was encouraged to remember the good in ones death, but it still brought up those old feelings, and questions that have never and probably never will be answered. I have prayed to have this anger lifted from me to allow me to clearly see His plan, but I guess now as an adult I see it is my job to work through this anger alone, yet I feel like I should at least feel Him as a guide, and I don’t. Most days when I think about it I feel like one of the Forgotten. I pray to feel Him, I try to be stead fast in my faith, yet I do not feel it. Maybe some people were truly not meant to be given a plan, maybe I am not one of those he sees or hears. In the end I won’t really find out until the moment I pass, that will be the time I truly find out if there is really a Heaven, a Hell, or nothing at all.