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[I’m sorry this is so long. I made it as short as I could.]

My mother [in-law] passed away on Sunday, February 3rd, at approximately 4:30 pm Pacific Standard Time, USA. She was 82 years young. She died of CHF [congestive heart failure] brought on by a neoplasm of the stomach and bowel. With CHF the heart slowly ceases to beat and the lungs then begin to fill with fluid. This results in slow suffocation. It is not an easy way to die. It took her 8 days worth of hospice care in our home. She did not eat or drink anything during that time. She died only 10 minutes after my husband [her son] told her it was ok to “let go”. She was alone when the actual death took place.

I’ve never experienced being in the presence of a person who was dieing – and who died – and I’m facing a huge crisis-of-faith so that I need to talk to someone about it. I made an appointment with my pastor to talk about it, but he’s been very ill and so must take some time off to recuperate some times. He’s currently booked until Thursday, February 28th. That’s ok with me though. I’m not going to die because my faith has been shaken. And who knows, maybe this will get worked out on it’s own, without needing any outside help.

I tried to talk to my husband about it but it upset him greatly. I don’t understand why he got so upset, and he wouldn’t tell me why. I don’t think he even understood his violent reaction himself. I talked about this with a dear friend. She suggested that he may very well be dealing with his own grief but, because he’s a man, can’t talk about it. This is most likely true. After all it was his mother and he’d known her for 59 years, compared to me and my year and a half of knowing her.

This crisis-of-faith is totally surprising to me. I have never encountered anything like this since I became a Christian. I have never been present for any deaths before this. I was not present at the deaths of any of my grandparents; nor either of my parents; nor any other relatives or friends. The only time I experienced being present at another’s death – was with a family cat.

I am amazed by my reaction regarding this business of death. I have faced death myself on more than one occasion – but I never actually died temporarily and come back to life, as some have. In looking back though, during those times when death looked at me with immanence, I now realize that I also had crises-of-faith reactions, though I didn’t consciously know it back then.

So where did this problem come from? I grew up an atheist; from a family that believed in atheism. At 27 I had a supernatural encounter with Jesus Christ. If you would like to read it, you can go to the Pages at the top of this blog. The two Pages that deal with my testimony are called, “Her Testimony” and “The Way She Was Saved”. My experience didn’t involve any other Christians and was so powerful, it spun me around 180 degrees so that my atheist beliefs were all but annihilated. I have had a very strong faith since that time – over 30 years now. Since my conversion I have had an almost continuous, conscious connection to God, through the Holy Spirit…

Until now.

Now it looks like my atheist background is rearing it’s ugly head again. The problem I’m facing is having full faith in Heaven and Hell. I’m not thoroughly convinced – in my heart of hearts [where the “truth” in a person, really and honestly lives] – that such places do, in fact, exist.

My mom [in-law] didn’t leave her body with a bang, but just a blip. One moment she was in her body and the next moment, she was gone from it. No trumpets, no fanfare – just – gone. In one teeny-weeny instant, she was gone. You may think this sounds kind of silly, to say this sort of thing about the process of death, but it really hit me hard. How small, how itty-bitty, the process of an actual “death” is. How unceremonious it is. Like someone quickly and ever-so-quietly sneaking out of a place when nobody’s looking.

So, about this crisis-of-faith. Is there really a Heaven? Is there really a Hell? I’m not as convinced of the actual existence of these places as I believed I was. The “slipping out” of mom’s spirit; being so un-eventful as it was. Does a “spirit” really exist inside a person? Are there actually “spirits” – at all? These are the questions I am wrestling with at this time in my Christian walk. I don’t know how to deal with them. I don’t know how to overcome them. I don’t know how to escape from the atheist cynicism toward the spiritual view on life.

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**Peace & All Feloreaw  to our Great & Mighty God**

Robin Illustration

Robin Claire

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I hope I have communicated well enough what I understand
about this. If there are parts missing, or parts that don’t make
sense, please ask Him about this. I know He will fill in any gaps
in understanding – in mine or in yours.
What do you think?
I’m open to any input about what has been revealed
to you in regards to this matter.

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