As a woman of faith, I have had to learn to give myself permission to grieve. Somewhere I think I may have tried to convince myself that because I have a strong faith, then somehow losing someone I love wouldn't, or shouldn't, hurt quite as deeply. I would never think that of another person, but for some reason, my struggle had me questioning my faith. I didn't question God or His plan, or His love for all of us. What I began to question was my relationship with Him. If I really have as close of a relationship to my Creator as I believe, then why am I experiencing so many peaks and valleys? This question led me to reflect on the life of Job.
The Book of Job is a poetic debate about the cause of suffering. Job was a faith-filled and obedient man who feared God. He was blessed with seven sons, three daughters and great abundance - 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 oxen and 500 donkeys. Life was good for Job. One day, however, Job's life began a downward spiral. He lost all of his possessions. His servants were killed and his children died (as a result of a house collapsing on them while they dined). He suffered hideous boils and sores from his head to his feet. All of his livestock died as a result of fire. He was chastised by his wife and friends.
Through all of his struggles, Job never loses his faith in God. He most certainly responds with great pain and angst, but instead of blaming God, he blesses God. He struggles to understand why all of this is happening to him, but he never loses his belief in the goodness of God.
Job realizes that God is beyond human knowledge and that some mysteries - including suffering - can never be completely understood, they can only be accepted. The Catholic Youth Bible, pg 568
I am trying to embrace this journey towards acceptance, knowing that death ends a life, but not a relationship. I was blessed to have a beautiful Mom for 41 years of my life. That is gift and one I will cherish forever.
Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you.
- Saint Thomas Aquinas