On To Hope

“Somewhere in this mental quagmire of self-indulgence, I found the strength to fight back. Perhaps…the thought that this wasn’t what Beth would have wanted for me. Something caused me to reach out and grab hold of life and love.”

Willard Kohn, from “The Widower”

While there may still be difficult times, people who have come to terms with grief find strength within themselves and look to the future with hope.

Amy Florian was widowed at 25 when her husband was killed in a car accident. She writes: “The most indelible memory of John that I carry is myself–who I was and who I have become as a result of his influence in my life.  I remember feeling that I would never be happy again. Thankfully I was wrong.”

Family and religious writer Antoinette Bosco lost her youngest son, Peter, to suicide, and her son, John, and daughter-in-law, Nancy, were murdered two years later. She wrote: “We don’t have to translate pain into  permanent suffering… We are in control of what we do with our pain. We can fight it and continually suffer. Or we can accept it and learn the most important lesson of all: compassion for others.”

Nora Richard experienced the most common form of bereavement for adults — the death of parents. This signals the end of an era as the family loses it unifying center. Frequently, the adult child confronts  his or her own mortality. For Nora Richard, healing came when she discovered the parent-child bond transcends death. She believes her “deeper self holds the wisdom of generations.”

In grief, where is God?

“The God I believe in does not send us the problem; He gives us the strength to cope with the problem.”

Harold S. Kushner from “When Bad Things Happen To Good People

After the death of a loved one, it’s not uncommon for people to doubt God’s goodness or to angrily question what kind of God would allow such a tragedy to occur. If spiritual beliefs have been a comfort in the past, a temporary loss of faith can be devastating. Most people find that, in time, their faith not only returns but it is deeper and more vital than ever.

They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.

Isaiah 40:31

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