Thursday, February 23, 2012


I talked before here about how my faith has been pretty rocked to its core.  I was raised Catholic and we're raising our kids the same...Catholic school and all that.  We go to church on Sundays as a family.  I wouldn't call K and I "pick and choose" Catholics, but I have definitely approached my religion with an intellectual, rational manner.  There are many things I disagree about with the Church (homosexuality for starters), but they aren't things that have made me want to change course with our spiritual life as a family.

I don't know how to describe what my relationship with God is right now.  I sometimes wonder whether it's all a bunch of hooey.  When people say they're praying for me and our family it doesn't move me or make me think that those messages to God will have any effect on our lives.  I wish I had the spiritual fortitude to help me get through this.  Maybe it would bring me a sense of peace which would take the edge off a bit.

The one thing I do know now, though, is why people believe in heaven.  The thought of my sister simply not "being" is absolutely devastating.  I drive by the cemetery several times a day.  When I let my mind wander and go to that awful space in my head where I imagine her in that coffin, under the ground, all chest tightens, the lump forms in my throat and I physically hurt.  I remember during the burial those final moments when I simply could not walk away.  I didn't want to leave her there.  I didn't want to imagine my life without my big sister.  My Zhea.

But maybe there is a heaven.  It's not that I have this need so that "one day we'll be reunited."  I can't accept that Jeanne's gone. I need to think that somewhere, somehow she still "is."  She's watching me and her little girls.  She's looking out for my little boys.  She's laughing with Mike about how we're worrying about stuff that doesn't really matter and that she's got all the answers.  I want to know that she's not in pain or scared or worried.  If heaven means that, then I guess part of me believes.


  1. My faith was restored and strengthened when we lost Hannah, and I know that makes no sense. But, the thing is, as you say, I couldn't accept her just no longer "being".

    I've always believed in an afterlife, but there was something there, something more. I truly believe I wouldn't have survived if God hadn't been looking out for me and helping me. It was just too much, too painful.

    My father was critically ill my entire life (folks were telling me from the time I could remember that my father wasn't expected to live past thirty--lovely thing to tell a child). When he was in his early twenties, he died. Flat-lined. My grandparents were with him. They and the doctors substantiate this story.

    My father had a near death experience. He could tell everyone in the room what they were doing, where they were standing. He could tell them everything that happened. He told me he watched from an upper corner in the room and was tempted to not go back, but that my grandfather started whistling for him (as he did when my father was a child out roaming the fields) and that he had to go back.

    From that day on, Papa said he never feared death, he just didn't want to leave us behind. From all of this rambling, I can tell you I truly believe in my heart our loved ones are watching over us, watching out for us, are waiting for us. It sounds hokey, but there it is. I think it must be called "faith" because we have to suspend so much of what we believe to be real and true and just accept--and that is hard.

    Okay, ramble over. All this to say, even if you don't feel it, I'm praying for you guys.


  2. Rach--again, wow. Thanks for giving me the gift of your words at the right moment. I had a tough therapy session this morning, ending with me sobbing, stumbling out, and pretty much crying all the way home. I'm finally trying to address my grief and it's hard and it hurts. Writing about it helps and hearing your story helps. Please keep the prayers coming.

  3. I'm so glad you could find help in my words. I feel so ramble-y sometimes, like I must be coming across as preachy when that is NEVER my intent.

    Every morning when I'm out on my walk/runs with Ellie, I pray. I'm out in God's creation and it's so peaceful and lovely and I have time to just "be". I'll continue to pray for you all as this is one Hell of a journey you're on.

  4. Had to come find your story. It is powerful. Intense. Raw. And real. Keep telling it.