To find it very hard when people say people who have died have gone to be with God

(28 Posts)
sweetkitty Tue 20-Nov-12 17:03:55

Not explaining myself very well, there's no one in RL I can talk to about this, DP is RC, I am an athiesthave been for about 20 years. Most of my friends are very strong believers. I doubt a few of them even know I do not believe in God, I don't talk about it.

A wee local boy died today, very very sad, he hung on for a few weeks whilst everyone prayed like mad etc. Everyone is now saying he's gone to be with God and all the other comforting things people say. I find it so hard as surely God would have not allowed him to suffer like that in the first place? Same with a friends DD who died a horrific death this year, where is there any justification for her to die like that? I find it is difficult to understand how people can put their trust and faith in this higher being when he/she/it allows suffering like this to happen every day.

If they were to survive it would be Gods amazing healing power, if they die it's Gods will. the world is so messed up I don't know how anyone can be controlling it. I guess I'm upset and trying to get my head around it, I wish I could believe but I just cannot.

weegiemum Thu 22-Nov-12 14:01:18

Sweet kitty I think you must be local to me from what you've said.

i am a Christian, I go to church, I've even been to bible college and have a theology degree. But I agree with everything you've said.

It makes no sense, I'm struggling with the idea of suffering right now. I became disabled (lost all sensation in feet, lower legs, hands, face, lost my balance and proprioception (means I can't clap my hands with my eyes closed!)) this time last year, which totally put paid to our plans of moving to Latin America to work in the slums teaching (me) and doing medical work (dh).

Then the little girl you mentioned (think I know who you mean) died, friend had a stillbirth, another friend lost her dd to cystic fibrosis. It's not bloody fair.

All I can think about God (I can't stop believing, just can't) is that if it's his bloody fault then he's big enough to accept my answer. My anger, my frustration. I'm not comforted by the thought my friends children are "with God". It's wrong! They should be with their mummy!! Friends have said I should be comforted by the thought that Christ suffered too. NO! Why should the vicarious suffering of an innocent comfort me?

I've tried to become an atheist. I can't. But I'm not sure about the nature of my God any more.

And people talking about children "becoming angels" drives me mad. It's not theologically right. Angels are angels, humans are human, on earth and in heaven. But that's my issue ........ (amongst many, as you can see!!)

IndigoBarbie Thu 22-Nov-12 21:09:35

I know of this local boy too, very very sad, I was following his progress, and his family updates every day. What I did notice though, is that their faith held them strong. It brought them comfort through their trials.

I don't think I am going to help in any way but just thought I'd join in to add that although I 'do' believe in angels, and god, it doesn't make the pain and suffering and loss any easier to accept - no matter which religion or beliefs you hold or don't hold. Most people are conditioned into belief of a god or higher power, and in many ways they only learn from how they see others dealing with this religious knowledge.

I think all we can ever do is try to be grateful for the good things we can and do experience. And, to many - something as simple as taking a breath in the morning, or savouring a sip of fresh water hold higher value, than to some who think just because it's raining it's a bad day. Rain is precious in some areas.

I guess people really don't know what to say in certain circumstances, so saying something that appears comforting seems like the right thing to say. In some ways this might seem to be more positive, however - in the cruel light of day - the truth remains. A lot of people suffer and those who are left behind can not fathom why. The loss and heartache and unanswered questions are very hard to accept and deal with. The finality of it all. I do believe our souls live on, without a physical body and at the moment of death we are released from the pains of physical. It doesn't make it easy for anyone though. To quote WeegieMum, it isn't bloody fair. At all.

I don't think it matters if you believe in god or not. It's a shame when you can't discuss your beliefs with your closest friends, just because you know they feel differently. Ask them how they know god exists, for them? I certainly know where you are coming from, I kept my beliefs quiet for a long time. You just need to listen to yourself, and go with what you think or feel is right, for you.

with love xxx

MichaelaS Fri 30-Nov-12 12:29:49

Hi I've just returned after a bit offline and wanted to rely to jammysplodger.

I'm also very sorry to hear about your illness weegiemum and I agree with you and indigobarbie that it just is not fair.

Theologically it is very hard to explain. I got a lot out of reading CS Lewis's a grief observed, because it doesn't really conclude on the matter. Ultimately I think you have to decide whether you think God is real, and whether you think he/they are good. If you do, then you have to trust him and understand that you personally cannot understand the reasons for everything in life. I came to a point where I struggled with whether I thought God was good or not. Reading a lot of the old testament you feel he is this vengeful angry being. But reading about the numerous times he forgives the Israelites, the way he is hurt when people stand against him, and reading all of the new testament where you see Jesus and see how much compassion he had whilst still not being afraid to stand up to the high and mighty... Well eventually I had to concede that I didn't have the answer to everything but I did believe that God was good and that he loved me and loved my son even more than I did. I believe the world was planned to have no suffering and to be fair, but that it went wrong. So where is God in all the in curable diseases or bad things that happen which are no ones fault? Well I would say he allows them to happen but is grieved by it. That he intends to make it all fair again one day, and that his perspective is more about people's eternal life than this one.

What we can do is to support people who are suffering, be kind to each other and try to prevent the preventable ills. I also think its important to bring positives out of situations. I volunteer with a charity which supports families going through the same thing our son did. I am trying to make it less painful for the next lot of families. It is a positive way of dealing with my sadness at what happened and turning the anger to something constructive. Sometimes I wonder if God lets people go through stuff for exactly that reason, because door the chance for greater good to come out of it.

Still, none of these answers or thoughts in themselves are satisfying answers to the why suffering question.

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