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StillWidowed

Belief and Grief

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I was looking to start a conversation regarding death and a person's faith/or lack of it.  Did it deepen your faith or cause you to turn from it?  Are you in the camp of there is no after life?  Please post if you care to share your thoughts on the subject.

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I was raised Catholic and as a college student, chose a path on the progressive side (think social justice as a primary focus). In my mid to late 40’s, I started asking myself different questions about religion and faith, went through an agnostic period, and was leaning toward atheism when my first husband died 11 years ago. I have called myself a humanist/atheist since then. I don’t believe that my husband’s death had much influence on that change. My second husband, who considered himself an atheist since attending a Catholic seminary high school, died 6 1/2 years ago. I continue to consider myself an atheist and I don’t believe that there is any afterlife.  I believe that this is the only life we have. I hate being miserable, so I try to find as much good as I can muster. It hasn’t always been easy. 
 

Maureen

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I no longer believe in organized religion, but fully believe in a spirit world.  I have felt first hand and heard too many stories from people I trust about the presence of spirits to not believe.  I do, however, believe organized religion causes as much hurt and conflict as it brings peace and harmony. I was going to church only a handful of times a year the last couple years before my wife died, and don't go at all anymore.  I believe in being kind and treating others with respect whenever possible in place of preaching the bible or any other religious text.

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I have shared here before. I am a Christian.  I always have been but as an adult spent a lot of time searching as to why be one. And always stay on the same path. 

My husband worked with the youth at church 16 years. We were involved in all kinds of aspects of our church. And when he died suddenly in a car accident, the church folks were at my house within 2 hours.  My pastor ( a female) walked me through the haze of planning the funeral. The youth he worked with most recently were in college, so they arranged for folks to talk to those kids. It was a loss to our church family. They remodeled the youth area, and it is in his name, now.

My faith got me through as my church were the hands and feet as they are supposed to be. I had support for raising my son for years. I moved after 5 years, and I was directed to a new church by my former pastor. They have surrounded us again with love.  My son is active in youth, missions trip, etc. He met 3 friends at church camp, we moved in 2 weeks, and they are at the church we now attend. Godwink is what that is.

I believe in the life after death, obviously.  I believe in forgiveness.  I believe we are fall short of the glory and judging is left to God. I believe Jesus opened the door to all who choose to follow him. Everyone has a choice.  

My nephew is a missionary and has lived in Peru, China (where he met his wife) and now is Abu Dhabi. He speaks Spanish, Mandarin and now Arabic. He has lived where people have no knowledge of Christ. He has lived among Muslims and other denominations. And he has shared how learning about other religions always brings him back to Christianity.  

Long answer - my faith got me through the darkest days. I wax and wane as I am a fickle human, but God/Jesus  are steadfast. Everything else is temporary.  


Good luck sorting through what you are sorting through. 

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StillWidowed, I was raised Roman Catholic. I went to Catholic schools and was raised by nuns in a matter of speaking. I have not been a practicing Catholic since I last lived in my mother's house. I'm an HMD Catholic. I have much respect for the sisters who taught us. They treated me very well often going out of their way to help me on their own time. I continue to support the sisters. My dearest and oldest friend is in religious life. She does not try to cure me. We are friends since high school. 

 

With that background I was amazed by people who asked if  was "mad at god" after my husband died since I do not do church. Makes no sense. We become public domain once widowed so maybe it was just one more dumb question. People asked me why I don't drink. No one ever asks me why I don't eat liver. Same reason. 

 

I don't believe in afterlife. I didn't before my husband died. There is no change since his death. 

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From the time I was a little girl, I believed I felt the presence of God in my life. I wasn't sure what it was. Through christian indoctrination I came to believe that it was the Holy Spirit. My faith waxed and waned over the years. I strived to learn and try to understand the mysteries. When I married, my husband was the completest of agnostics. He was a great defender of Christianity, which I found both ironic and endearing. He was curious, and had no religious upbringing at all, but never declared any belief. He let me attend to the religious "training" of our children. I was a deacon at the time of his death and the fellowship of the church was a comfort to me, but I found myself growing distant from the church body. I still feel the presence, but it sustains me in a different way and I don't have the capacity to be part of the congregation anymore. That may change, I don't know. I do know that I no longer feel I have to put any kind of label on the oneness I feel with creation. I truly believe that "religion" is a man-made concept. I believe the creator made us beings with a longing for a deep connection. I think it is how humans understand love. 

 

Of course, I could be full of shit. LOL

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Not a believer, not very spiritual .I believe in our minds and our body and science.  I Believe  for humans to live together and to create a successful society   they have to be empatheic to other's emotions and I believe the rules and rituals of most religions were brought about to help humans struggling in that department. I was brought up going to a United church and had no problem with it. It was a great place , with great people . But nice humans do not need to be religious . I did not have any trouble with religion and my husbands death because I understand the science of the body and know, it's just the way it goes. I do not believe in an afterlife, but I will admit that I had vivid and hilarious images of my husband getting to heaven and having to deal with my dad asking him "What are you doing here? Why did you leave my little girl alone?" You see they never got along and yeah he would have given him trouble when he got there. 

Also will add, that although I feel very comfortable with my take on religion and love to discuss it, I understand other's need for religion as the structure is designed to support, and provide comfort, Each to their own.

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I am a practicing Catholic.  While my husband was alive, he and I were members of the Methodist church because he was not Catholic and I knew he wasn't going to convert.  He was a strong Christian man and we both had (and I still have) very strong beliefs in the afterlife.  I believe that there is much more to life than this shadow of life on this earth.  I believe that from our human perspective, we see through a glass darkly, but that when our bodies die on this earth, we understand and begin to live our lives fully.  I believe he is with our loved ones who went on before us and I believe he is having a marvelous time doing exactly what he wants to do in a healthy, whole body in it's prime.  I believe in 1 Corinthians 13:12, among other passages:  "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."  Anyway, that's my take on it.  YMMV!

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