The question that runs through every grieving parent’s mind is ‘Why?’ Why in the earthly, physical sense. Why in the spiritual, religious sense.
It’s true that I’ll never get over my daughter, Abi, dying aged 12. I’ll carry the loss of her with me until it’s my turn. And that’s OK, because to try to replace that loss with anything or to act like it doesn’t matter would be wrong. It would be to pretend she didn’t exist.
Yet always the question of why sits on my heart.
Why not me?
Abi’s death has been a faith challenge for me. Despite knowing since the moment she died that God is with me, it doesn’t stop me asking Him why? Why did you take her back?
I have nothing to hang the blame on. She wasn’t in an accident. She wasn’t murdered. She didn’t take her own life. She didn’t have an incurable illness.
My daughter’s brain hemorrhage is not something anyone could have predicted or detected. This tiny weakness of blood vessels in her brain didn’t ever give a clue that they were there. There is no charity, no public awareness campaign that would benefit from her death. There is no rhyme or reason.
All that leaves me with is a massive, painful why?
How can I love a God who allows me to know this grief? Our good daughter. Is this punishment for all the bad things I’ve done and said? How can I see it any other way, especially as Abi’s death followed days after a medical termination of my latest pregnancy, my guilt and shame overwhelming enough.
Dark thoughts cross my mind, when I’m anxious and afraid. But I know that God is pure love, that He loves me deeply, that He loves Abi so much. There is no punishment for either of us. There is no point to prove.
So, I try to reflect on it not from the perspective of why, but from the perspective of because.
Because Abi died, she was called to her eternal home earlier than me.
Because God loves her, He is looking after her, not to replace me as a parent but as her Creator.
Because He created her, He loves her.
Because this human life is just part of our whole life, I will be with her again in Paradise.
God, through Jesus, promised us these things – that he loves us and wants the best for each of us. That He will never leave us not matter what we do.
Related: Searching For Meaning In Loss
Abi is complete. She is more than that, she is achieving, growing, loving life in heaven, looking forward to seeing us all again.
I think about what I would say to God when I finally see him. Would my first word be ‘why?’ – the question that has been on my mind all my life? I realised that it wouldn’t. I don’t think I’d need any answers. I’d just know. And knowing would mean pure love, no fear, no anxiety, only joy.
When I look at my question of ‘why’ through God’s lens, I realise that it starts with Love, it ends with Love, and so it is Love. That’s all the answer I need.
Photo credit: Wordswag