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To detest the idea of prayers being answered?

(57 Posts)
rootypig Sat 15-Nov-14 03:58:06

My in laws recently had some lovely news - a family member who it was thought would die very soon, of cancer, is in remission. I'm really happy for them (have never met the woman in question, my husband's aunt).

But I can't bear the flood of messages and posts. 'The power of prayer'. 'We're blessed'. 'Faith works miracles'.

My precious aunt died a horrible death from cancer last year and she did NOT die because we didn't pray, or want her to live enough, or because we don't have faith, or she wasn't blessed. She died because she had fucking cancer and noone could do a damn fucking thing about it.

How can people believe in this god, who would pick and choose. How can people believe that they deserve more than others.

Marcipex Sat 15-Nov-14 04:06:54

I do see exactly what you mean rootypig.
Most people just burble on, you know. They're not really thinking.

I'm so sorry about your dear aunt flowers

FastWindow Sat 15-Nov-14 04:17:00

You obviously know a lot of people who think prayer works, as opposed to actual real fucking life.

Sorry for your loss. My aunt ditto - breast cancer. She won't ever meet my children. And she should have.

rootypig Sat 15-Nov-14 04:17:07

Thank you for being kind Marcipex. That made me cry. My beautiful aunt.

Reading all this guff is like a knife in my heart.

rootypig Sat 15-Nov-14 04:23:11

flowers for your aunt Fast. My DD is named for my DAunt and they shared ten months on earth, for which I am ever grateful. But she'll never meet her grandchildren. And she would have been such a lovely grandmother, and she wanted so much to be.

Marcipex Sat 15-Nov-14 04:29:52

Don't read it any more.
Some people are incredibly naive, and trot out this sort of rubbish all the time.

I remember a neighbour who died of cancer, a young single mum with no one to take her child. She was desperate, absolutely desperate to live. It's so cruel. Bloody cancer.

CluelessDil Sat 15-Nov-14 04:55:02

I think faith just brings some people comfort in desperate times. When I asked my wonderful GF if he was angry or scared that he had to leave us so soon (he was 71) he said he was lucky he had so much time compared to many and thanked God for it. I on the other hand was thanking no one, as 10 years later he remains one of the biggest losses and loves of my life and I still wish he was here.

The heartache of losing someone close is unbelievable and it sounds like you had a lovely relationship with your aunt. I am very sorry for you loss flowers

In no way do I think your in laws are associating what has happened to your aunt with your dh's and I think they would be suitably horrified if they felt they hurt you. I agree up thread it's just something people say. It's akin to when people talk about 'fighting' cancer and having strength to fight it for their family etc so the people who don't 'win the battle' don't love their family? Of course not, I don't think you would find a person on (even on mumsnet) who would ever think that.

You'll know your in laws better and I'm not taking away from your feelings or your original stance which I agree with, I know more think a god picks and chooses who lives or dies in the same way as I don't believe a deity intervenes for football matches etc.

I do believe in people though and that they have good intentions, most of the time. I hope your memories of your aunt give you comfort and you find the strength to help you through, whatever the source.

Something my GF used to say (and I used to argue back in disagreement!) is 'no one can hurt you, if you don't accept the hurt' meaning if you try and let go if this bad feeling towards your in laws go you will feel better. I haven't thought about that for ages but seems relevant here somehow.

Take care

Greyhound Sat 15-Nov-14 05:00:16

Agree - my Grannie came out with tripe this. She told the mother of a child who had had a heart transplant that it was "the power of prayer" that saved him.

I have no objection to people praying but people can be tactless.

Rosduk Sat 15-Nov-14 05:01:41

I know exactly what you mean. When we lost our DS as a newborn people said similar to us.

I do think people have good intentions though. I just hated hearing it.

rootypig Sat 15-Nov-14 05:43:04

Thank you all for being so kind. Clueless thank you for such a thoughtful post, which has comforted me so. Your GF sounds like he had amazing grace. I am lying here thinking that maybe I can just think of my aunt, conjure her up. In my mind tonight we can be in a warm bubble together, just her and me. What would she say to me if she were here? She would say, oh rooty. Oh lovely girl. You are hurting so much, aren't you?

I can't be as generous as you all are and she would be. I have no doubt they mean no harm, but oh, everyone's god here is for them alone. It's all I can do not to scream.

Rosduk, I am so sorry for your lovely boy.

AlwaysDancing1234 Sat 15-Nov-14 05:46:59

I totally understand your feelings on this one. My Nan was a devout catholic all her life and had many mass and prayers said for her but she unfortunately suffered terribly in the final years of her life before she passed away. I appreciate faith can help people through hard times but I think it's wrong to infer that prayers save a person, it's down to good luck and medical science that someone survives. Thoughts are with you.

DevonFolk Sat 15-Nov-14 05:55:51

As a Christian this kind of thing bothers me no end. I'm so sorry for your loss and all the hurt that these people are causing with their talk of miracle prayer. My own feeling, when someone is ill or dying, is that prayers for strength (both for the person who is ill and their family) are so much more worthwhile and appropriate thanks

minmooch Sat 15-Nov-14 05:55:56

I prayed and prayed for my son. He died aged 18 from a form of brain cancer. I hate hearing that sort of shit because does that mean my son was not worth saving? My love not strong enough? If there is a God I'm well and truly pissed off with him that he lets any child suffer and die.

FishWithABicycle Sat 15-Nov-14 06:11:58

I agree with you, and your relations are being massively tactless. If you yell at them for being so fucking insensitive they will start being even more hurtful by burbling on about God's Plan for your aunt being different, which isn't remotely helpful.

I am a Christian but I don't believe God intervenes in matters of health, science, meteorology, politics etc. Everybody dies, shitty things happen all the time, tragedy can strike anyone, and God does not pick and choose certain favoured people to be rescued from all this. When I pray for anyone, it is to ask God to give them the courage, strength and resilience to get through whatever lies before them, and to be present for those around them too. I've also been known to pray for all scientists in fields of cancer research, that they might have that moment of inspiration to lead them a step closer to a cure. Asking for miracles feels very wrong to me. With the number of people who die from cancer every year, it is sheer arrogance to suggest that God might love or favour a specific sufferer to send a cure to but would let the rest die.

rumbelina Sat 15-Nov-14 06:52:08

Sorry about your aunt

bigbluestars Sat 15-Nov-14 06:55:58

My mother's church told her that is her faith was strong enough and she prayed hard enough my ternimally ill father would not die.

He did die and she blamed herself for his death and was wracked with guilt for years. Fucking churches.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sat 15-Nov-14 07:00:31

Sorry about your aunt - Yanbu

WaitingForMe Sat 15-Nov-14 07:01:00

I lost my father and then my stepfather to cancer. What I found helpful was to focus on the feeling behind what people were saying. Most of the time it was naivety and not knowing what to say which led to people to say stupid, ignorant and cruel things. Look at their eyes, don't listen to the words.

Of course there are some people who are just twats but they and their mysterious God can fuck off.

rootypig Sat 15-Nov-14 07:21:55

I like the idea of praying for strength. People here seem to see praying as another way of shopping hmm. Praying for strength to face the world, I can understand.

rootypig Sat 15-Nov-14 07:26:21

It's late here, and I should take my tear stained self to bed. Thank you all again for your kindness. You have kept me from my loneliness this evening and more importantly, my mouth shut. Kindness, something my lovely aunt was very good at. One of the many things I admired in her.

To those who have lost someone they adored, flowers. Minmooch, especially, I am so terribly sorry for your son.

CatKisser Sat 15-Nov-14 07:27:17

OP YANBU. My grandmother sends me irritating letters all the time, mostly telling me how obese I am and how I'll never be taken seriously until I'm thin.
However, whenever I've had some kind of success at work or recognition for something she always, ALWAYS writes telling me that's God answering her prayer and if I'd just accept him as my saviour he'd be even more bountiful. No "well done, you must have worked really hard to get that job," etc. Her chapel friend was killed in a very bad car accident a few years ago and I remembering her writing telling me how God has blessed her with a "quick death...." I just can't get my head around it.

I just ignore the letters now but part of me wishes I'd kept them and published them after her death.

ILovePud Sat 15-Nov-14 08:27:47

I'm sorry about your Aunt Rootypig. I think people are desperate to feel that they have some measure of control in awful situations where they feel powerless to help and sometimes prayer gives them a sense of this. I think they were insensitive to say what they did but people come out with this kind of thing without thinking. brew

Marcipex Sat 15-Nov-14 08:29:11

Catkisser, tell your grandmother that God made thin people to leave more room for his favourites grin

flowers for all the people suffering loss.
So sorry about your son Minmooch.

Marcipex Sat 15-Nov-14 08:33:19

I think ILovePud has put it very well.
Thank you for that, LovePud, I found that very helpful.

rootypig Sat 15-Nov-14 21:33:02

I do see that ILovePud. But while I'm sure they don't mean harm, I do think this faith is based on, and expresses, a sort of....narcissistic culture (we're in America). People deserve what they have. And what you don't have? well, you deserve that too.

I suppose that is their faith. But it revolts me.

And of course none of them ever goes to church, or volunteers, or anything like that. They just post pictures of angels on fucking Facebook angry

In my mean little universe I would like to put this in my response, but I know you're all right and I should just ignore it. I know that this is my grief talking, as well as my politics.

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