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Religion

Editor: Sonya Marvel
Contributors: All Members of My Mom Is A Survivor

Religion could play a major role in your life now. You may be a very religious person who depends on God to take care of your child, since you can not. You thank God every day for taking care of your child and to please let him/her know that I love and miss them very much. Some may attend Church Services and feel closer to your child because you know God has control of your child now. God did not cause your suffering. He suffers with you. On the other hand, some could feel anger or blame God for taking your child and for your suffering.

ANGER AT GOD AFTER A CHILD DIES
By the Reverend Al Miles

Many people who suffer the death of a child find themselves feeling angry at God. This anger is sometimes expressed directly: "Iím angry at God for allowing my child to die." Most often, however, the anger reveals itself in less direct phrases such as, "Why would a loving God allow my child to die?" "Doesnít God have any mercy?" "Where was God when my child experienced so much suffering?" "With all the horrible abuse being done to children by some adults, why did God take the child of loving parents?"

It is important to understand that anger is a normal, healthy part of grief. While not all parents who suffer the death of a child feel angry at God, most will feel this way at someone or something over the long process of grief. The best support we can provide to these individuals is to listen in silence. This will allow them to work through the anger in their own time frame.

Michelle remembers the intense anger she felt at God when her daughter, Robin, died a year after being diagnosed with leukemia. "The depth of my feelings surprised and concerned me," she recalls. "I thought I was losing my mind. Although God was the chief target of my anger, I was also angry at my family, friends and strangers Iíd see at the mall with their children. Even the weather affected my mood. When it rained I was angry, and the same was true when the sun shone brightly. And most of my energy was directed at God."

Michelleís anger gradually subsided. She attributes this to the permission she received from her minister to express her feelings during their many pastoral counseling sessions. "Reverend Johnson told me that God could take my anger and still love me as His child," she remembers. "This was very important for me to hear. Many other people tried to defend God, saying that He didnít cause Robinís death. I know they meant well, but I didnít find their efforts helpful at all."

Recently I spoke to a group of hospital chaplains at a medical center in the Los Angeles area. The subject addressed was death and dying. At the beginning of the workshop I showed a videotape of a woman grieving the death of a loved one. The woman said that she was angry at God for allowing her loved one to suffer with cancer for nearly two years before dying.

At the conclusion of the video I asked the chaplains how they were going to care for the grief-stricken woman. Several of them replied that their first agenda was to get the womanís "anger off of God."

When I asked why they felt this was necessary one chaplain replied, "Because God didnít cause her loved one to suffer."

I then asked the group if they thought that God could handle the anger of one hurting womanó whether or not God caused the suffering? They all agreed that God could.

Mona knows the pain of not only having a child die, but also being told that her anger at God was wrong. Her first child, Jason, died shortly after being born. "When Jason died," she recalls, "I asked God where was His mercy? It had taken my husband, Tim, and me more than two years to conceive. It didnít make any sense that God would allow our child to die. I was definitely angry at Him."

Mona says that many people tried to shift her anger away from God. This was especially the case with her and Timís minister. "The first thing my Pastor said," she remembers, "wasnít Iím sorry for your loss," or some other compassionate words. Instead, he said, "Mona, Godís not to blame. Remember He, too, suffered the death of a child. We simply live in a world where tragedies occur."

Mona did not find his words helpful. "I know Pastor was well-meaning,Ē she said. "But he seemed to be more concerned with defending God than caring for Tim and me. Although I continued to be angry at God, I no longer expressed my feelings out loud. Pastor seemed to imply that my anger was misguided or wrong."

Grieving people donít need their feelings about God stifled or redirected. God can handle the anger of humans without our defense or justification. Anger is a normal, healthy part of the grief process. Given the permission to be expressed, it will eventually help bring about healing and a renewed sense of wholeness.

The Reverend Al Miles is the Coordinator of Hospital Ministry with
Interfaith Ministries of Hawaii at The Queenís Medical Center.

I had a long bout of anger at God. I lost my Becca to SIDS. No answers, nothing to blame. I had a choice blame me, my husband Chris or blame God.

I decided it is Gods fault I am a good mom, my hubby is a great dad who adores our baby! Who else could have done this. No "god" would do this. I told myself trying not to be angry with God. So I stopped believe their was a god. After my son was born a year and 17 days after Becca left us, I was still angry and bitter at God if there was one. Then just the other day I prayed to God and said look please let me keep my baby boy! I will do anything. Let me have him to hold and you take good care of Becca. So as I did this and talked with god about the pain and why I began to be relieved.

So now God and I are on terms. He takes care of Becca, who was needed more in heaven although I do not know who could need her more than me. Don't get me wrong some days I still want to yell at God but I told him look I will always be a little angry or I might work it out but you will have to understand I lost my daughter by no choice of my own. SO I think God and I are ok now. I am gonna talk to him like a person not an idea. Like I talk to Becca.

Jean Mom to Rebecca *Becca*
10/16/98 - 1/1/99

I do not consider myself a "Religious person" but, one who has a close relationship with God. I had this relationship before the birth and death of my angel girl. I would say my walk became much stronger while going through all the medical things we endured in Cassie's 8 years on this earth and it has definitely became even stronger since she has died. I believe that Cassie is in Heaven with the Lord and that comforts me. I also know that I would not be here today without our Lord, he truly had carried me through this part of my life called grief. He lifts me when I do not think I can be lifted and he brings happiness when I only fell pain and loss. My relationship with the Lord is what has made life bearable.

Loves and Hugs,
Niki

Since losing our daughter, going to church has been very moving for us. Its been difficult for my husband as he imagines her being held to God's chest. We couldn't have picked a better name for her, Grace Isabella means "beautiful gift consecrated to God". We have been very raw emotionally, and Gods healing touch can almost feel overwhelming. Even almost 9 months later a really moving song about faith and God's love will get the tears flowing. I have realized that my faith before losing my daughter was strictly on the surface. I hadn't really allowed God into my heart to do his work. Through the struggling and fighting with anger, sadness, and confusion I realized that letting God handle it for me helped me immensely. I have written a couple of poems about it. Below is one of them.

Struggle for Faith

At the bottom of this pit, this grief, I stand
There is a faint light above that beckons me
I reach to scrape away dirt with my hand
Knocking more onto my self, trying to be free

With each new attempt I claw frantically
I must get out; I have to if I am to survive
Unwilling to allow this to defeat my sanity
Wondering if anyone can hear my silent cries

Slow progress is made, inching upward
Each step made cautiously, must be steady
Or I slide back, to the bottom very hard
After struggling for so long I am ready

It was at that moment down at the bottom again
Realizing I could not get myself through the fight
Looking up, allowing you to see into this pain
Knowing that alone I couldn't reach that light

You were suddenly there to push away the dirt,
Helpful hands reaching in to pull me through
Lifting me up, gently easing this raw hurt
Hearing me cry out, you tried to be my rescue

Waiting until my spirit was calm, to allow your aid
Now resting comfortably in this warmth and grace
The angry ache and devastating cries slowly fade
No longer alone and fearful, I feel a smile on my face

I can hardly express the thanks and love
Grateful for the chance to start my life anew
Turning back to help others come above
Your true meaning in my life can show through

Inspired by Jeremiah 33:3
"Call to Me, and I will answer by revealing what is hard and hidden, what you do not know."

~Nancy~
Momma to an Angel Grace Isabella
Born Still 9/21/99 @ 37 weeks

I try not to preach religion but I have a very strong faith. As a pastoral care minister and my hubby being a former deacon we have our faith and on many occasions it has been our faith and faith alone that has carried us through. I will be the first to admit that after Joey died and my grandson was diagnosed with cancer I had a major faith crisis. I prayed God would spare my little grandson since He already had my son and He did. Today Jacob is a 7 year old little man and is still in total remission from cancer. BUT, in may 1998 my second son, Raphael, died. I thought I had been too selfish in asking God to spare Jacob. It took me quite awhile to realize God wasn't trying to hurt me or my family and it wasn't His way...He was there by my side through it all and I had temporarily wavered from Him.

I also know my 9 1/2 year old got very angry at God 13 months after Raphael died. She was angry because her brother died before she ever got to tell him how special he was to her. After seeking tx. with therapy and meds for a clinical depression I am pleased to let you know that both Robyn and myself are at peace with God and truly know His love for us.

Sue

Growing up in a very religious home environment with so many questions unanswered or just avoided or even "just becaus-ed" laced with so much evident hypocrisy. I grew up extremely confused and then became VERY angry when God backed out on our "deal". He saves my daughter and I dedicate my life to him the way everyone wanted me to do.....pretty egotistical huh???? I laugh at it now. I'm not sure of all that I believe but after reading James Van Praagh's first novel "Talking To Heaven: A Medium's Message Of Life After Death". For the first time in twenty years I found answers to my questions and felt that I wasn't alone in my questioning of society conditioning regarding religion. I read that book and tears rolled down my face....sad ones...happy ones...hopeful ones....I borrowed the book from the Compassionate Friends Chapter Library from my first meeting (just last week). It's been ten years since I lost my little girl and I think for once I'm on the road towards peace.

Jayme

**Note - See this book listed at the bottom of this page!

I felt I was a very devout individual to begin with when ^I^David died. I thought I knew all my beliefs and nothing could shake them, since I had explored this issue when I was in college. But after David's stillbirth, I questioned my beliefs again. It turns your world so upside down, you wonder if there is a God! And what kind of God would want to take a baby?!

Then we moved, and I always put my family's religious needs before my own, so I helped them find a synagogue where we could all feel comfortable. I haven't started searching for a church for myself yet, though. But whenever I visit the church I grew up in, I still get very emotional when certain songs are played. I hate crying in church, and being vulnerable around the people I love the most. I don't like putting them on the spot like that.

But I have felt a nearer connection to God as time goes on. I started Yoga in August, and have read a few books written by a yogi. It has helped me tremendously to learn meditation, to go within myself to connect with the Divine. This is where I find my peace now.

I have always been inquisitive about different religions, different denominations, and I will continue to study them to help bring a fuller meaning to my own religious upbringing. I have found many similarities in the different teachings. I refuse to believe the way I was brought up is the only way to God.

My yoga teacher explained David's exit from this life this way: Some souls only need a moment to become perfected. They don't need a lifetime to learn their lessons on this earth. I believe David is in heaven with my God, being taken care of by loved ones who went before. And I feel he and his younger sibling, Angel, are watching over and protecting me and my family as guardian angels.

Thanks for listening,
Lorri Brace Jacobs
Mom to ^I^David - Stillborn at 40 weeks 4 days
1-1-1999 of Unknown causes

Just a thought. I don't seem to be able to go to church with all this hate in me. My son Ben, committed suicide 1 year ago last month, and I can't seem to let go.....of the girl whom he killed himself over, to him doing what he did, just about everything. I feel like such a hypocrite going to God's house with these feelings of hate.....what does one do?

Loretta

When my child was diagnosed with cancer, our faith grew stronger. I remember back before the cancer days and a time when we only made it to church once in a great while. Now we go weekly, even sometimes twice a week. Cade's cancer brought our family closer together too. We knew one day we could wake up and Cade would not be with us. We put our faith in god that we could make it through a day at a time. And after Cade's passing, God showed us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that we could go on. I don't think that my wife and myself would have survived the death of our only son if God was not there to lead us through.

Joyce Madison

Yes there are times when I do wonder why God has put this test so to speak. on me. My son was a healthy 24yr. old. Just getting to know life when he was murdered by his girlfriend. She was 5 months preganant with his son.This child will never know his father except through myself and his brother. It is a very difficult time and I pray God will help me through it.I hope to see some kind of light at the end of my tunnel.

Rose

How about both. I want to go to church and I do get up enough nerve to attend. However, all the babies just kill me. I don't want to be angry at God, but I don't understand how he could allow this to happen. I wasn't ever supposed to become pregnant. We adopted two children because of this. I was resolved to never being pregnant. Then to become pregnant, survive the high miscarriage timeframe, then to have Cody born at 22 weeks. He wasn't even merciful when my water broke at 18 weeks, I hung on for a few weeks with hope growing stronger each day. How about going into labor on Christmas day knowing your labor would not be stopped, and that your child would be born alive but only slowly die. I hate myself, I know he's taking good care of my baby - but why did he have to make me suffer so. I just can't help to be angry - I pray each day for him to lift this anger from my heart and to give me piece. I have two beautiful children and they need me back. I know each day seems to be easier, and easier - but I'm still so angry. I am thankful for knowing Cody. I just can't help but ask why me? What did I ever do to deserve this?

I know - it's a part of my grief. Some days I count Cody's life as a blessing - it's just the manner of his death that I'm so angry with.

Melissa

At first I have to say that I did blame God for what happen to cause the lost my child. But my husband would always tell me that God was trying to save Katurah. He would and still does say that he was trying to save from something that was going to happen to her later in life. So after hearing that I started to think that maybe he right. Then I needed someone to blame so I blamed my husband. But no might what I did or said he was still there trying to help me get though this. Now I blame myself. I feel that I could do something. I should have been there.

Tonya

I used to believe in God as much as the next person I guess. I used to pray every night before going to sleep while I was pregnant. I would pray so hard that nothing would ever happen to my baby and that if it were his turn to please take me instead. I always turned to God until my son died.

When I gave birth to a stillborn son I was furious...furious at God. It wasn't too long before I just didn't believe that there is a God. I couldn't and still can't imagine a God that "loves all his children" could rip one of mine out of my life. I began to look at things logically instead of religiously. Everything I had ever believed in as far as religion goes was gone. I no longer believe that there is a single spiritual being that hears billions of people's prayers all at the same time...that loves us all equally.

After my son's death, I spoke to my minister about how I had no belief anymore. He said "sometimes God has to test our faith...and eventually yours will come back. God won't be angry that you don't believe right now, to him you are more innocent then the next person who has not lost anyone and doesn't believe." That was when I began thinking logically. If there was a God, and he was testing my faith, then he doesn't love "all his children" equally. How could he...his test for me was so much harder then most people's test in faith. Taking a huge part of my future away from me when I did nothing wrong isn't a test in faith...it's cruel.

There are rich, beautiful, healthy people out there, who have everything they want, never lost anyone...never had "a test of faith", then there are people who live on the streets, starving, begging for food...people who have nothing or anyone, who were abused as innocent children and have never experienced a moment of happiness who pray every single day. Why is one person more deserving then the next. We can't choose our families...how we grow up. So if we are equal in God's eyes then again why one person and not the next. I hope with all my heart that there is a God...and this beautiful place we go when we die...for my son's sake I really hope that all that is true, but I don't believe it is anymore.

I could probably go on and on about this all day, so I will end it there. Sorry I guess I would go under the category of lost all beliefs.

Trinity

When I was summoned from a university classroom, taken by security guards, driven 50 miles home, and taken to the local hospital, I was told NO details, except that I had to go home. That was the longest ride of my life. When I was taken to the hospital boardroom, my priest came to meet me at the door, and lots of friends and relatives were sitting around the table. I looked at the priest, and knowing inside what was wrong -- somehow I knew -- I said to him, "Not both of them?" and his reply was a simple "yes."

My husband and 9 yr old daughter both killed by a drunk driver. Later when I asked this priest where God was when my daughter was getting killed, he told me that God was in exactly the same spot He was in when His son was being killed.

I had never even thought of that before. Being a Christian, I hadn't thought about Jesus' mother, and how she watched her son die such a horrible death. Yes, I do believe God was in the same place when my daughter died. I think God cried for those of us on this earth both times. I believe God cries when children die, and I believe he sends "baby angels" to help them on their way back to him, so they won't be afraid.

About 20 years after my daughter's death, I was at the communion rail on Christmas Eve at Midnight Mass. While I was kneeling there, I got a "vision" or "picture" in my head of her at the age she would've been on that night -- a beautiful grown woman. I just saw her, and it was awesome, and in my heart I know it was God letting me know that she was with Him, and ok. It was such a blessing to me.

When I am in church, or when I am in prayer, or in meditation, it is not really unusual to feel her presence around me. It is a warmth, an essence of love, that I can't explain in words, but that I understand completely when I feel it -- and know it is there.

Without my religious beliefs, I would not have survived this tragedy and a lot of other difficulties in my life. I believe there is a God, and I know I'm not it. I don't believe God makes bad things happens. But, I believe that when I turn to God, wherever I might be in my life, that if I surrender to Him, He will take my life wherever it is at that moment, and turn it towards Him, towards a lighter path, a better way, and make the path I'm on lead back to Him.

God bless all of you. I hope some of these words may help someone else. My religious & spiritual beliefs sustain me each day I live.

Blessings,
Mary Jane

Well, I am one who is mad at God. Sometimes I don't even believe in God. Because how could he make people suffer so much. I use to be very Religious and prayed always.

Marie, Mom to Rob Northrop
Oct. 28, 1971 - Dec. 23, 1997 ~ (26 forever)

I can remember being angry with God but yet feeling a need to become closer to God because I knew this was where my strength would come from. I don't believe I ever felt like God had "taken" Parker but felt he could have "prevented" his death. This isn't much but just a little of how I felt.

Gay Kennedy
Parker's Granny

When our son, Ben, died by suicide, a lady at work told me," You must feel doubly cursed by God". I assumed she said "doubly" because 1) Ben died, and 2) Ben died by suicide. But I told her, "No, God has never done anything except bless me."

I understand people who are angry with God after their loved one dies. God has the power to have saved their loved one's life, but He did not. I understand this anger, but I have never felt it.

I stood at the hospital bed where my son lay dead, kept "alive" on life support until I could get there. I put my hand on his arm and raised my other hand to heaven and called Ben back to life in Jesus' name. There was no response, so I did it again, fully believing that God would give him life. But He did not. I had not prepared for this. It shocked me. But where could I turn? I lifted both my hands to heaven and said, "God, I see you have decided to keep him." And I thanked God for the 16 1/2 wonderful years I had with my son.

I would have wanted more years, but I know God will give me eternity with Ben. God help me to be patient all the rest of my days on this earth. The reunion will come. Until then, I pray God will keep me here to help support my wife and daughter.

Everything I have or have had that is good, anything I am or will be, I owe it all to God. I cannot thank Him enough for offering His own son to suffer and die, that we might have everlasting life through Jesus Christ.

My love to Sonya and all at My Parents are Survivors,
Roy (and Tami) Murdock

The topic is very interesting, when my 23 year old daughter died from a flu, I was devastated, and a lot of religious people would try to make excuses for God, and I that point I did not want to hear anything about God, my mind said what kind of a God takes a mother from her children, who were 2 and 4 at the time what sense did any of it make, I walked around very angry for almost 2 years, then my rebel son at about age 27 called me on the phone and said mom you better sit down, I have bad news, (understand this child was a heroin addict) and he said you will be burying me also. I just diagnosed with H.I.V. Positive. I cursed at him and told him how awful it was to say that after all I am going thru coping with you sister's death, and I simply hung up the phone on him.

A day later he called again and said Mom you better get a grip on reality because you will be burying me also, I said you don't know that I have heart trouble I will die before you.. well I didn't die he did in 1993 of aid related complexes 4 years after that call. But before he died on his deathbed he said mom do me a favor, and I said what honey what can I do for you, and he said mom please forgive God, I don't want you to be angry when I am gone too. I said I don't know Frankie if I can do that, and he said do it for you mom and for me God will help You thru it. It isn't Gods fault you know.

Well that night I went into his tiny bathroom he was so weak and weighed about 97 lbs and I cried and I cried, then I got down on my knees in his little bathroom and I said ok God here I am I don't trust you and I don't know I you are even there, but here goes, I don't understand why you took Carla, and I don't understand why Frankie has to suffer like this, and I am asking you to take him, if not you leave him whole with out aids and with out drug addiction.. well Frankie died within that hour, I laid on the bed with him and whispered in his ear ok son I did I talked to God and I am promising you I will not blame God anymore.

I believe this way now God didn't take my children, Death took my children, Death is and enemy of Gods and it is Gods last enemy.

My son died at the age of 32.. 6 years after his baby sister died, I believe there are together and waiting for me..

Thank you
Lola
stardance39@prodigy.net

My faith in God is what has helped me the most in coping with the death of my only child, my daughter, Kelley. Right after Kelley died and for a while after, I was very angry at God for not saving Kelley, and I even blamed God for Kelley's death. But after some time, talking with others and doing some soul searching, I began to realize that God did not kill Kelley, although I know he could have saved her, but for some unknown reason to me, he chose not to.

I have always been a religious person, so my faith in God has always been a part of me, but I think even more so since Kelley died. Kelley is with God, and I know he is taking very good care of her until I can join her someday, although I do wish I was the one taking care of her now. I, too, feel that I can't turn my back on God, for that would be turning my back on Kelley. I want to be in the same place as Kelley one day, so I have to try and understand that God wanted Kelley back home, for her purpose in life was fulfilled, but until my purpose is fulfilled I must stay here.

Unsigned

When I lost my baby son Cody I was so angry at God cause I had prayed and my family had prayed and my church prayed and he still died so I felt like all the years everyone had been telling me "Ask and Ye shall receive" wasn't true I had asked and didn't receive but what I didn't realize was that he did answer my prayer and knew what was best I just didn't know that then for without Gods help and my family I don't think I would have made it. My Mother was given this poem by a friend. I hope it helps someone like it helped me!!!

My Unanswered Prayer

One day I prayed for sunshine,
But God sent the rain;
Sought relief from suffering,
But God sent more pain;
Prayed for rest from hardship,
New burdens I must bear;
Wearily I faced the world
and my unanswered prayer.

Then one day in early springtime,
In my darkest hour,
From the cold and greening earth
Sprang a perfect flower;
Tenderly a soft voice whispered;
"The flower must feel the rain,
Before your soul can ever grow,
You must feel some pain."

So today I pray for courage,
Shining through the rain,
Strength of soul to welcome
Every bitter pain;
Faith to feel beyond the sorrow
God's wisdom in the air;
In the way that's best, He'll answer
My unanswered prayer.

My Leen

Yesterday, I went to the cemetery to put flowers on my sons' grave. Their headstone looked beautiful, and was surrounded by so many flowers it looked like a garden. I looked and my two boys picture on the headstone, and I began to cry again. I told them that if only it could have been me instead of the both of them. I told them I knew they were in good hands with God, and please don't give him a hard time. At times I feel anger towards God, but then I think of what a better place they are in. Sometimes, I think that God took them so they could be released from all the hardships they had to deal with here. Sometimes, I feel that God took them because I failed to be the mother he expected me to be for them. And, then, there are the times that I feel happy they aren't here to witness all the things that happen to people. That at least while they're in heaven they are protected from all the bad in the world. As you can see, I have anger at time, but the anger subsides when I think that yes, they are in a much better place, and I know God can do a much better job than I can. I just feel anger because I can't seem to get my life back on track. I think about the boys everyday and miss them so much. I feel as though I'm running around trying to fix things so everything will be normal once again. I know that this is impossible, and I can't run away from the hurt and pain. I ask God everyday to give me the strength to carry on. So, I really don't know who I'm angry at--God or Life in general.

Kathie

I don't ever think I blamed God. I was very angry at my circumstance because I felt cheated, but at the same time I felt extremely blessed to have been chosen to be my daughter's mother. I felt that God chose us to be her parents because He knew she was very special and He trusted us to do what was right for her.

I was not very religious before I lost Madison. I considered myself more of a 'spiritual' person. I think that because I was open to the thought that Madison was a perfect spirit and did what was necessary for her to do her on earth in a very short time that it helped me to recognize the many gifts I was given - and not just what was lost. I was not tied to any belief that God would use the death of my child as a 'lesson' or 'punishment'. (I think that is where the majority of parental guilt comes from and it is terribly sad and hurtful.)

One of the gifts I received from Madison's short life was my religion. The minister who baptized her eventually led me to find my religious home. So, even though my spiritual beliefs helped me in the beginning, it is the continued religious experience I have received that have given me lasting peace with her loss. I am reminded everytime I walk into the sanctuary that this must be the wonderful calm she experiences everyday. And I know she is not alone and that one day I will get the time I missed with my little daughter. . .

Sherri

Your E-mail has had me thinking very long and hard about my feelings about God. My baby was a preemie, and he was supposed to make it. By a fluke, he was in the 4% in his age group that do not. And they have no idea why he got so sick.

When Cody was so sick, I begged God to take him. I knew in my heart that he wasn't going to make it, despite the doctors' optimism, and I just begged for his suffering to end. I still do not understand why Cody had to suffer as long as he did, I don't understand why he had to die at all, and while I know that Heaven is a wonderful place, I want my baby WITH ME.

I believe in Heaven, and I believe that Cody is with God in Heaven. I know that God has his reasons for everything and we are not meant to know them. But I am human, and I am very, very angry. I can't even pray right now, except to say, "Please take care of him for me," and that is only when I am standing over my son's tiny grave.

Tonight on the news there was a story about a mother who was sleeping off her drug habit while her 2 and 4 year olds walked the streets alone. They were found by neighbors. All I could say to God was, "And my baby dies."

I don't want to feel so angry, because anger is a waste of energy, along with the point that it certainly isn't helping me find peace. I am also only 3 weeks into this, my feelings will probably change sometime. However, at the moment, I feel very angry towards God.

I didn't feel this angry when Cody was so sick, it started about a week after he died and reality set in. I am assuming that as I work through all of the questions and issues and painful memories, the anger will one day be replaced with resignation and acceptance, and maybe even a little peace.

Sincerely,
Tracy Bohn

The day after my 3-year-old daughter was killed by a tow truck, in front of my home, in front of me, I received a call from my stepsister. She informed me that Satan was involved in our tragedy. Needles to say, I found this very disturbing. However, it forced me to look at many issues. At first I wanted to blame God. He took her from me. Then as visitors would arrive to pay their respects, I kept hearing them say things like, "God needed another little angel."

Anyone who has ever been through such an ordeal, suddenly becomes a deep thinker. I was absorbing any and every bit of knowledge I could get my hands on. I found myself reading a book a day. Listening to audio tapes in my car, and paying close attention to comments given by well meaning people. I don't believe that God had anything to do with my child's tragic death. Many people tend to think that He is punishing them for something. If this was the case and her death was my punishment, why were so many others being punished as well? My husband, the driver, and especially, my daughter? What did she ever do to deserve getting ran over by a tow truck? How about the children brutally murdered? No, this was no punishment by God. We would never be punished this cold and viciously by an All Loving God. On the flip side: If God wasn't to blame, I couldn't hand it over to Satan either. I don't believe God took my daughter because He needed another little angel. God is not needy. He didn't need her as much as I did. He didn't take her to spare her of something more tragic to happen later in years either. Tragic things happen everyday to all kinds of people. Bad/Good, old/young, rich/poor, giving/selfish, compassionate/unfeeling. No one gets excluded from some of life's harshness! It's the price we pay for free agency. So where does He stand in all of this? Right beside me, every single step of the way. Hurting for me when I cry. Cheering and rooting for me when I learn, grow, and develop into a more God like being. He is our Father, our Daddy. He feels the same compassion as we feel towards our children, even when we can't jump right in and fix their problems.

Angie Denes

Talking about God in relationship to losing a child bring about an endless stream of questions, most of which we cannot really answer. When our Patrick died I blamed everyone from the doctor, the nurse, anyone that had children. I knew it was unreasonable, but I didn't care. It wasn't until after his funeral did I begin to blame God.

At that time I reasoned that if God is in control then it must have been his lack of responsibility that caused the doctors to be negligent. Shortly after Patrick's death my husband and I became active in a support group at a hospital that was conducted by the chaplains there. For the very first time I heard someone say "It's ok to blame God for now, He is big enough to take it!" WOW I couldn't believe my ears. Everyone I knew was telling me not to blame God-that I was sinning just to think that way. Well when I was able to finally vent my anger and give voice to all the questions in my mind I was finally able to understand that God wasn't to blame. That He too was sad about the events that took place. This revelation didn't take place over night though. It has taken me years to be able to fully love God the way He should be loved and to trust him once again. There are many books out there about this subject and the idea of "man having free will". I believe God is in every situation...only He has the wisdom to let it play out, and follow behind to help those who are hurt. I know I've rambled on so I'll close and I look forward to the next newsletter.

Thanks for listening,
Yvonne AKA Patrick's mommy

When my son Bobby came home from school with some comments about God and church I found that I didn't like it very much. If my children were to learn about such issues that I feel are personal they should learn them from home and our religion (I was raised Catholic.) At this point in his life we were not active in church and never had been as I had stopped going to church many years before for reasons I couldn't even remember anymore.

Bobby wanted very much to go to church so I took him one Sunday and continued to take him every Sunday after that until the day he died. He embraced it with a passion that sometimes made me a little nervous. I mean, I wanted him to love it and respect it and believe in it but because I didn't have to coach him about any of these things (they seemed to come automatic to him) I was a bit astounded but very proud that Bobby brought our whole family back to God.

Then he died. I was very angry for months! I couldn't go back to church. I felt frightened. How is it God could take away someone as pure and holy as my son? I really felt like it was my fault. That if I would have never taken Bobby to Church then God would never have realized how good he was and he would still be alive today. I know that isn't rational but it's how I felt.

Now, I feel like Bobby was always an Angel and that God sent him down to me for only 8 short years to teach me and bring me back to Him. I admit, I did learn a lot from Bobby. He taught me patience, the meaning of unconditional love and how to give and receive it. He taught me to be happy. I always felt like Bobby was the only person in the world that loved me unconditionally. I miss that love but I know now that I still have it. I'll never lose it for he will always be with me...

Carol Duran
(Bobby's Mother)

Well I just don't think I would have made it this far, without my faith in God. I need to believe that my baby is in a better place, waiting for his daddy, sister, brother, & I. I guess you could almost say that my faith has been restored, and made much stronger. I was kind of drifting away from God, but after we lost our son, I found myself really relying on God to help me through this. Sometimes I feel like I won't make it, then, I find myself praying several times a day for the lord to keep my baby safe within his love, when I pray, I usually feel much better. I like to think of Spencer playing in God's garden with all the other Angel babies. I have always been a person that knows God existed, but somehow, the loss of Spencer, has made me realize what a gift each day is, how precious our loved ones are, and how we have no control, everything can change from one breath, to the next. Also I now realize what a precious gift my children are from God. Even though our time with Spencer was brief, it was such a wonderful gift from God, to even be able to know that little person, our son Ryan "Spencer" Dugan.

Angel Dugan
In loving memory of "OUR SHINEY SPECIAL LITTLE ANGEL" Spencer

I believe God has been my strength thru the past 4 years as well as many before Todd was killed. I have never blamed God, more so I have blamed Satan many times over and again. After all, it is Satan that gives the hate and thoughts of evil to those who are killers. I know god is watching over Todd!!! I would not be here today if it were not for my faith. The person/s that murdered my son will pay one day even if there is no arrest or conviction he/she may pay here on earth or in the hereafter. I know many blame God for there loss, wondering why did God let my child die. We may never know why until we see our child again but I know Today and tomorrow I can lean on God!!!

I miss you all terribly but do go to the pages and read the newsletter and get my email. I have for some reason not been able to post on the forum but I can read it!!

Love ya all & God Bless!!
Norma Jean
Mother of Todd-5/25/64-10/13/96
Victim of An unsolved homicide
In Memory of Todd

I was religious before I lost the baby, but I know now that my baby is being taken care of by God and is in the best arms. I used to pray before I found out I was going to miscarry, that my baby be safe and now he/she is. I didn't know what sex the baby was but as far as I'm concerned, he/she is still safe and is my angel.

In Him,
Sherrie

Religion has always been a part of our lives. I know that I have never "blamed" God for taking Maclaine. I know that God would never intentionally hurt us. I feel like God took bad circumstances and made them more bearable by the things that went on during this time.

We were able to donate her heart to a precious baby boy several states away. Since then we have been in contact with his family and have even had a chance to meet them. That has been wonderful! Hearing her heart in his chest was awesome. To know that a part of her still lives on. Our baby may have left this earth, but God still gave us an extended family. If we had to pick a family to receive her heart, they would be the one. They are wonderfully Christian people and getting to know them has been fantastic.

The staff at the children's hospital where she died were so thoughtful and caring. We still hear from her primary nurse. She sent me a wonderful Mother's Day card. I cried because it had been over 10 months since she died and Peggy still cared.

When Maclaine arrived at the NICU in the early morning hours, a nurse that was working (not her nurse) was thoughtful enough to make a print of her hand. She cast 2 of them. They are so precious to us. She will never know what they mean to us.

There are many more things that I could add to the list of wonderful things that helped us through the worst time of our lives. All of our friends and family have rallied around us. We have become so close. My husband and I are closer than ever.

I feel like God allowed all these things to happen around us to bring us comfort and to help ease our pain in a small way. Through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, I know that I will be able to hold Maclaine again in Heaven. That is what keeps me going and not breaking down completely.

Karen--Mommy to Maclaine
7-3-99 - 7-6-99

There does not appear to be any neutral territory for bereaved parents concerning religion. With the whirlwind of emotions we experience in this tapestry of grief, I believe religion would be an option not even to be considered or it would give a sense of hope of a reunion with our child upon our demise. I, myself, prefer a realistic and tangible approach in the loss of my child. My own inner strength and that of my fellow bereaved parents, is what gives me the ability to face each day and deal with all the emotions and the sobering fact that this is something I cannot change, therefore must accept. Religion is a comfort to some and a source of blame and anger to others, so I will choose to be flexible and open, but not dependant on any one means of dealing with my grief.

Sincerely,
Paula Lewis
Mom to Glenn Lewis
10/10/81-8/10/96
summer6899@yahoo.com

I personally am struggling very much. I believed God to heal my daughter Robyn from cancer. She was diagnosed when she was only 13. When she relapsed the first time I really had a lapse in faith. Thankfully, I pulled myself together within a couple of weeks and began to believe again that God would take of things. She went through so much (as did the entire family), but God was always there for us. Having gone through the experience of her bone marrow transplant I was really feeling stronger faith wise. I would always say "God is in control". It would help when the circumstances weren't good. He did always take care of things. Finally she relapsed again (2 1/2 years after the original diagnosis), and we were told by the doctors that there was no hope. At first I was devastated, but after a couple of days I decided to continue to believe God for a miracle. After all, it made sense to me that God would wait and heal her when He would get the credit instead of doctors, medicines, and procedures. Unfortunately that was not the case and she died within 3 weeks. It was a very bad 3 weeks. I still believe in God, but I have a lot of trouble now faith wise. I feel that He deserted us. I find it very hard to accept that He allowed her to suffer so much only to die anyway. I miss Robyn very much, but I know that a major part of my problem is my problem with God. I want things to be different, but I don't know how to change my feelings. I know that He had the power to heal her and He didn't. He still performs miracles for people today...why not us? I still go to church and pray some but things are definitely different. I don't have the faith to believe for Him to do things. I feel our prayers don't really matter much because He will do what He wants to anyway. I do believe that Robyn is in heaven with God, and I guess my desire to see her someday keeps me from doing anything really stupid.

Well, this may not be the type of thing you are looking for and I certainly understand. I just wanted to get out my feelings.

Debbie

Without God in my life I would NEVER have been able to adjust to the loss of my son.

Without the knowledge that we have a merciful and just God.... a God that does all things well, and knows the end from the beginning, I could never have adjusted to the suicide of my son.

God lost His Son too, and from this I am assured He knows how I feel. I know there are reasons for everything that happens to us. I may not understand the reasons, but that's where trust in my Creator comes into play. When trouble comes in shapes and images I have no control over, I can just hand it to him and forget it because I know it is all OK.

It took many years of pain and suffering for me to come to this knowledge. John died in 1980, and I have just in the past few months I been able to accept his death. Twenty years is much too long to hurt the way I was hurting. Without God's gift of Peace I wouldn't have made it out of the fog of loss and darkness I was in.

I will be forever grateful to Him for the Gift of Himself to me, and also to John.

We are both in good hands!
Star Priddy
John's Mom

I really don't know how to begin to put my thoughts in order about this but I am going to try because I feel I need to put these down and think them through.

I lost David (age 21) in 1989. Looking back I was in shock. What I felt at the time is if we are suppose to thank God for all the good things in our life, because he was the source of all things, than he was responsible for it all.

I believed in God in a real narrowed minded, self-centered way. I believed in a church doctrine instead of thinking through what was the real meaning of being a creator.

Than I lost Tim (age 30) in 1997. At first I thought losing David must have been a lesson I did not learn, so God took another important thing away from me. I guess the book of Job in the bible was very real to me at that point.

Before losing my two sons I had the hope that if I was good enough and was good enough God would take care of my children. I now have no such hope. I used to pray to God to please take care of my children and make them all that he would want them to be and with the morals and principles I taught them.

Do I still believe in God? Yes, but not in the way I did before. I don't think he has a list and checking it twice to see if you are being naughty or nice. I now believe we are here to learn and that was part of David and Tim's life lesson as well as mine. Do I know what specifically I was suppose to learn? No, but nothing has made me grow deeper and evaluate everything in my life. I no longer believe life is fair and I no longer believe you reap what you sow.

I am no longer floating on top of life. I look deeper at everything. Sometimes I wish I could see things the way other people do. I want to be an airhead.

Unsigned

When I first lost my son Hayden I must admit that I blamed God because He creates everything. I was sure God took my son to punish for something that I could not think of, but I lost part of my heart and life because of God - well that is what I wanted to believe and He was who I wanted to blame.

It took me a long time to understand that what happened to my son happened for a reason and in some way God let me understand that at least I had my pregnancy with Hayden as my special time to share my miracle.

I still find it very hard to understand why God allowed me to have a full-term pregnancy and enjoy my son for nine months, to then make me go through all of this pain. I know that God has a reason for everything and that in no way does God have any harsh lesson to teach me, but instead to guide me in ways of making me stronger and open my eyes wider to life. I feel that my most important lesson is to be able to in some way be there for other people and to understand that life throws us pain every now and then but how we use this pain to experience life is our own reflection on how God is there to help us get to the other side of our pain and come out on top to carry on again.

Karen Cady

Soon after Axel died I believed I needed to get near God. I was not educated into religion as my family is a mixture of Jewish, Catholic, and Russian Orthodox people. So looking for a God was a difficult thing. Actually, all I wanted was a big and understanding warm and cuddly father as I lost my father only 4 months before losing my baby Axel.

I asked a friend of mine, who is Christian, which parts of the Bible could be of some help for me in that moment. He recommended some passages, but when I read them I felt God was not warm and cozy. He was hard, angry, and terrible. I was afraid. I couldn't find comfort in him.

So, I haven't found what I was looking for. Comfort has come from friends, new ones, that I found in online support groups or old friends, real live ones, that have known or learned how to help me deal with pain and grief.

Ana Grinberg

After having lost my baby daughter to SIDS 17 years ago, and then My 21 year old son, drowned 5 years ago, I only have one daughter left. I just finished reading the comments sent in by other parents, and I can somehow relate to all of them. Even after all these years, the pain is still there, from both losses, yet if it were not for my faith in God, I would never have survived.

I can't say that I have an earth-shattering relationship with God or that my faith is a rock for others, I can only say that it has been a life-line for me. I tried to bargain with God, I tried blaming God, I tried explaining it all on Satan, I tried it all. But what it boils down to, for me, is that we don't know God's ways or reasons. That is why it is called faith, and why we must be totally dependant upon God. I believe in God and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I believe in Heaven and Hell, and many things that Science and Man cannot explain, nor prove or disprove. But I know, in my heart, that God is real, as real today as He was 3000 years ago, when He watched His own Son die on an old wooden cross.

No, I can't say exactly where my children are, or why they were taken from me, or what they are doing today. But I can say for sure, that I know they are with God, and that God has a plan for all of us, and they are part of His plan. And I have the assurance that someday I will be reunited with them, and until that day comes, I will continue to trust God for everything, even the painful things, because He knows all and holds all in His Hands.

Unsigned
DURARDG@aol.com

I lost my daughter, Julianna Marie, in Feb. 1999. She was born handicapped, with multiple developmental delays. I came in search of anxiety attacks because they make me crazy!, But I usually only have them at Mass.

I get up with the intention of going to church, and when I get in the shower to bathe and dress, that is when it starts. The shaking. I keep moving and dressing, determined to go to church. Ending up crying and emotionally exhausted woman an hour later. My children spend the entire mass watching me, to make sure I don't walk out. They worry so much.

I full body shake throughout the entire mass, with tears reaching my eyes after communion. Church and God are the absolute closest I can be to her, here on earth. I can't see her, or touch her, but I know she is there. The attacks come and go. I love God, and I know he knew best, but my pain and the anxiety left behind, and my inability to take my faith and let it shine in the face of mourning bothers me.

Anyway, I just thought I would respond to your message.

Sincerely,
Julie, Julianna's Mom
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Shores/3018
member of My Mom is A Survivor (Louisiana)

Recommended Reading

 

Talking to Heaven
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James Van Praagh is a nationally recognized medium, a frequent guest on television shows who has a two-year waiting list for personal appointments. But now he sets forth on the page his unique insights into the world beyond. Van Praagh's ability to bridge the gap between the physical and spiritual worlds was something he came to terms with slowly. By the time he reached his twenties he finally accepted the fact that he could provide proof of life after death by relaying specific messages.


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Sit Down, God...I'm Angry
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Pastor R. F. Smith, in this personal account of the death of his son, admits his anger at God, relates the long journey of dealing with this anger, and details the process of making a pilgrimage to the place where he could live, work, and love again.

Copyright/Disclaimer

This has been written by the members of My Parents Are Survivors to help us to get through the worst time of our lives. Every word of this information and feelings is copy written by the writer. That means that you can NOT use this material in any way, shape or form. Please do not ask, because permission will NOT be given. This has been written from our hearts and will not be duplicated.

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