Death and Faith and…

My dear Grandson.

When I read your post on Facebook, I wished that I could hug you and sit with you and talk and talk.  “No one up there is looking out for us,”  you said.

I understand why you are questioning.  It’s hard to reconcile the sad and shocking things in life to faith in God.  It’s hard to believe that there’s a grand plan or a omniscient being somewhere when life feels chaotic.

Right now we’re all in deep sorrow.  I’m sad that I can’t be protect you from such times, and yet I know that no one can do that. Death is a part of our lives.  I am comforted in my belief that the end of life here is not the end of our being.

What I don’t see and can’t know is where the path leads when our breath stops.  I get to imagine that.  I can assure myself that I will be happy in the next place.  I am allowed to create a wonderful “hereafter”.  What I believe is in my power.  I choose to believe our friend was happy in his last moment and that the worst is over him.

The worst isn’t over for us, though.

When we lose a precious person in our lives it leaves a hole that is hard to fill.  We can’t even imagine how to deal with the emptiness.  The loss is such a gaping wound that it takes every bit of our time and energy to survive it.  Such a void can only be filled with our constant thoughts of him. He is all we want to talk about and all we want to hear about. It’s hard to be around anyone who doesn’t share our memories and our loss.

It isn’t in our power to hold everyone with us.  But it is in our power to hold our love and memories close in our minds and hearts. I won’t forget his smile, his talent and his eagerness to be a wonderful part of your family.  I’ll remember how loving he was to you.  I’ll think of him teasing you and sometimes when we are watching TV I will imagine that he is slouched on the couch or up against the chair as if he were  still there.

And I do believe in some higher power, some universal something that guides us and cares for us.  My concept of God is not the voice from heaven or the Great Spirit of the Native Americans.  It isn’t even the cosmic oneness of all sentient beings or a golden light that is accessible to those who call it.  But it is some conglomeration of these things.  What I call my faith in God is also my faith in the goodness of people.  It’s the knowing that my essential being is somehow joined to others in this world and those no longer visible to me.    It’s the assurance that whether it’s my own thoughts or the great arm of a higher power wrapped around me; I am cared for; my prayers are heard.

I am praying for you.



  1. My grandson, who is now only 11, has also experieneced loss, Mother, through divorce. His dad has been divorced twice now (the first time from my daughter). Nicholas was too young (18 months) to remember the first divorce, but I’m sure the second one has impacted him greatly, because of his 2 half-brothers. How do you console them and help them through this kind of pain?

    I love that you have this forum for speaking to your children. I sure hope they read what you write!


    • I’m so sorry that your family is going through this. I think we have a unique position with our grandchildren. We can see them as the perfect beings they are and be there for them in a way that wasn’t possible (at least for me) with our children. If we are real with them, they see us as people much more clearly than our children do, and accept, as their due, the love and support that we have to give.

      BTW, I don’t leave it to chance…if I am writing directly to one of my children, I send it directly to them:)


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