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These days (on God and faith)

23 Nov

There are days I wake up feeling mad at God. And days I go to sleep feeling mad at God.

I’m not overly religious, but I was raised with religion. I follow many of our traditions but I do not attend services every week. I did not grow up attending services every week. My life now as an adult is pretty close to my life growing up. My family’s traditions and habits stayed with me through the years to now. When my grandfather died, my mother started taking my grandmother to weekly services because my grandmother found comfort in the ritual. And I think it gave my mother special time with her mother. When my grandmother passed away, my mother continued attending weekly services because I think it became comfort to her. She generally attended the services with my father, who only went because she did. Sometimes she went alone, but that was pretty rare.

I do not find comfort in weekly services, so I never got into that tradition. I found comfort in my family. That family is in chaos without my mother.

I’m angry at God for taking my mother away. I’m angry at God for not giving me the ability to heal her. I’m angry at God for leaving me with this emptiness, this pain, this loneliness. I’m angry at God for putting my father through his own personal hell.

I’ve had previous tiffs with God. When I first got sick, I was so involved with being sick that I didn’t have time to think about God’s part in it. When I got sick again–more on top of the first illness–I was tired and I wanted to just give up. I didn’t think about why I was sick, only that I was. But as the years went on and my chronic pain and other chronic issues continued, I got mad at God. Why was He letting me be in pain all the time? Why wasn’t He helping the doctors figure out what was wrong with me and how to help me?

Why did He give my grandfather leukemia? Why did He let my grandfather suffer? And why did He let my grandfather die at only 82 years old? Why did He give my grandmother an eye disease that left her mostly blind? And then the stroke? And the dementia? Why did He let her linger year after year, lost in her own mind, needing others to care for her physical body because she was no longer able? My uncle, my aunt…on and on.

Why the cancer released on my mother’s body? Why did it have to be so aggressive? Why so fast, so hard? Why did it have to ruin her body and her mind at the end? Why did He have to take her away from us?

I know a lot of people who find comfort in their faith. Some give all their problems to God and accept whatever the answer is. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to get past the anger. I’m not saying I spend my days raging at God, because I don’t. But there are days when I sure want to rage and scream and ask WHY WHY WHY. How do I have trust in God and in a universe that has stolen my mother from me?

I watch commercials and I’m angry at kids with their mothers. When I’m out in stores I silently scream at kids with their mothers, wanting them to relish their time together because it won’t last. I’m jealous of Hub, who has his mother in his life. I’m so pissed off that my brothers had my mother in their lives longer than I did. I know these are petty things and don’t change what happened, but they are more reasons why I question God and faith and religion.

So many things in life I can attribute to decisions made by human beings. Why the election results? Too many people made the wrong decision. Why are people being killed in our cities? Too many people make wrong decisions, do bad things, trust the wrong people.

Why did my mother get an aggressive and rare form of cancer that took her away from me too fast and too early? I can’t blame that on a person or a decision. I can’t point to something and say, “oh that’s it! that’s why she’s dead and I’m living my life without her and my father is barely living a life at all…” Who else is there to look to? Who else was there to make the choice to give her cancer and take her away other than God?

Is any of this rational? Is anger at God rational? Does God even care if I’m angry at Him? Does God even care at all? Am I terrible for even asking these questions or feeling these feelings?

Hub often calls himself a heathen. He grew up with religion because his mother (and then his step-father) were religious. But he was very turned off as a youngster by the religious leaders in his community and he moved away from his religion. At this point I think he considers himself to be agnostic, though he deeply respects my feelings for my religion and traditions. These days I can more clearly understand his feelings, though not because of any religious leaders, but more because of my current predicament.

Despite my mother’s faith in her religion for most of her life, I don’t really know how she came to grips with any of this during her illness. It wasn’t something we discussed, mostly because I’m not sure she wanted to think about dying. At the end, I don’t know how much of her mind was still there, so I’m not sure she had time to question her faith. Even when we were at the point that the cancer had spread and there was no other medical intervention available, I don’t really know that she knew that. None of us wanted to say that outright to her, and when she didn’t ask specifically, we kept the information to ourselves. In those final days when her mind was still with her, we didn’t talk about the fact that her death was imminent.

I don’t know how to forgive God for my mother’s illness and subsequent death. I don’t know how to let go of the anger.

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8 responses to “These days (on God and faith)

  1. joey

    November 23, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Being a heathen pagan Unitarian Universalist, I am in no way qualified to aid your spiritual drought. It is perhaps easier to be okay with stuff when one feels one cannot know God and easier to question God when one is allowed to question God. When it comes to the loss, and worse, suffering of our loved ones, it would be much easier to be an atheist, or even a nihilist.
    I know that my husband was mad at God for a long, long time and although he’s no longer mad at God, I don’t often find him looking to God, either.
    I hope you find some peace. I am so, so sorry you’re having such a crisis and I know that while my words mean well, they are only words. *hugs*

     
    • meANXIETYme

      November 23, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      Thanks for responding, Joey. I guess one of the biggest things we lose “faith” over is when we see suffering.
      I hope at some point to no longer be angry at God, though I’m not sure how soon I will be able to forgive Him for what has happened. Ugh.
      I’m not an incredibly overly religious person and I don’t often just say or think “give it up to God to handle” but I always felt there was a God up there trying to watch over us. Now, I’m not sure how I feel about that thought.
      And thanks for the HUGS.

       
  2. April

    November 23, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    You sound like you are in the anger stage of grief. I have asked God the why of so many things, and bad things seemed to keep coming when I was still reeling from the previous “challenge”. Why? I’m not sure if there is an answer to that but I sure wish there was.

     
    • meANXIETYme

      November 23, 2016 at 3:42 pm

      I don’t know how to classify what stage of grief I’m in because the anger seems to come and go. Sometimes I’m irrationally angry at no one, and sometimes I’m angry at God. I thought I would be angry at my mother as part of the “anger” stage of grief because she “left” us, but it didn’t happen that way.
      Yeah, my mother used to say that God didn’t give you more than you can handle, but I never really felt that way. 😦

       
      • April

        November 27, 2016 at 9:59 am

        Take care of yourself so that you can deal with whatever is around the next corner. **listen to me, the woman who was nearly destroyed by grief 🙂

         
      • meANXIETYme

        November 27, 2016 at 10:07 am

        I am trying to. Thank you.

         
      • April

        November 27, 2016 at 10:09 am

        I have faith in you. 🙂

         
      • meANXIETYme

        November 27, 2016 at 12:45 pm

        Thank you.

         

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