The Event Horizon: Death(2)

Part I is here.

While crossing the Atlantic, I could not help wondering, chess-game-like, what the various alternate futures would be for my family. I tried to focus on something other than my own misery. But I would fail every few minutes and I would start sobbing. My row was empty. No one spoke to me and I think that was a good thing. Communication was probably out of the question. In regard to this I’ve wondered whether Mormonism may make death more difficult. Its emphasis on family and the promise of continuing family relationships in the hereafter is unique and runs against an embedded Puritan tradition in much of American Protestantism that such hopes constitute the sin of avarice. In some ways perhaps Mormonism gives us less preparation for such loss.

Struggling with the death of a loved person can be a most trying experience. Ranking death experiences in terms of difficulty seems crass. Each death is different, often claiming its own special moments of agony and gravity in different survivors. This is not an academic discussion. It represents a small part of a personal journey, though that journey involved careful study.

Perhaps I played out my actual future somewhat poorly. There were several years of depression, where I found it just possible to function in my job and family as a kind of surface wave, propagating along without disturbing the darkness beneath. My children, I think, took the brunt of my half-daze. It was difficult to fully participate in their lives. Like many people, I surmise, I kept the depth of my own darkness a secret and consequently their’s may have been hidden from me. By the time I became more or less “normal,” several had or were beginning to exit high school. The fact that they are well adjusted human beings (who I not only love but respect in the deepest sense) may best be laid at the feet of my wife, their associates perhaps and their own physical and spiritual genes, if you will.

What role does religion play in death? This is the kind of question that foments other questions of diamond hardness. Religion carries some kind of comfort to the grieving – I’m guessing that deep down that is a hope shared by most people who participate. Nineteenth century ministers regarded dealing with death their most difficult duty. How to provide comfort to the grieving? What could be offered in the way of shoring up parishioners without violating denominational imperatives?

In Mormonism, which has an obvious relevance here, much of the comfort offered involves abstraction: we sometimes call it “perspective.” But this kind of comfort can take time. It is not an injection of anesthetic, a drug hit that alters errant brain chemistry. But even when the chemistry is not an issue, the comfort usually takes time. It works (or fails) differently in different people. What I can do is say a bit about how this worked with me. There is another more immediate sort of comfort that I will mention shortly.

My own theological/ontological space at the time of my son’s death did not really allow for the possibility of annihilation of the person, though I certainly had some questions.[1] But I was reminded of another position (among the many) while I was stuck in Europe desperately waiting for travel arrangements home. My host and his wife, who were also good friends, walked with me in the deepening dusk one evening. While slowly passing gardens and corn fields, we spoke of death, and its meaning. Nominally Catholic, my friends nevertheless made it clear that for them, death was surely a point of utter termination. No soul or spirit or ongoing consciousness or afterlife had a place in their universe. Extinction – the only outcome.

They gently, mildly, explained: your personal immortality exists in the memories of those left behind (and therefore paradoxically, and by definition, immortality does not exist). In my numb state at the time, this essentially ricocheted off. I tried to evoke my own thoughts about death, but I was convinced at the time that they received this as they would a children’s myth, that any highly rational person, as they perceived me to be, would eventually come around to see the true state of things.[2]

In spite of such beliefs, they called the local branch president (not by my request – I was doing a close impersonation of an inanimate object), who left his employment to come to their home and give me a blessing. This was a remarkable experience, since I had no idea what he was saying. My skill with the language was minimal. After the president left, with a tearful hug, one of my friends tried to translate for me. I don’t recall the words now, but it was clear that she did not understand them. The expressions were foreign to her, though she knew the language as a native would. But it didn’t matter. There seemed to be a calming influence that lasted through the night.

Since that time, I have been part of other deaths. And in particular, as Mormon friends have lost family members, I have heard them express the view that they could not have come through the experience without “The Gospel” and they express wonderment at how non-believers get through such loss.

I find this an interesting expression. It seems almost to reflect a kind of anthropic principle. They may in truth have been unable to get over their awful emotional gulfs without their bridging beliefs. The nature of those beliefs is quintessentially interesting in itself. But the extension of this idea is perhaps too complex to explore sensitively here. For me, I am not sure that any conscious thought at the time was a comfort. I found little that lifted me in the funeral sermons. I am sure they were excellent, but I cannot witness to it. I think there were less tangible things, not necessarily overtly connected to formal religious belief, but something more primitive, that brought stability.

Finally, I felt my European host’s beliefs to be a remarkably bleak view of reality. Their idea of permanence seemed hollow at the time though I knew many shared their reasoning. But their expressions surfaced in my mind in later years and invoked a gradual but complete reexamination of my own thinking and beliefs about life and death.

[Part 3 here.]
—————————–

[1] It is of course true that both historically and in the present, there are religions that are not affronted by the idea of personal annihilation.

[2] I don’t wish to convey the idea that my friends were telling me what to believe. The conversation simply and naturally led to them expressing their own position.

Comments

  1. This is an interesting transitional piece, WVS, and I look forward to the balance. I think that some version of the anthropic principle which you invoked has to be real…the world does keep turning in spite of our general insignificance.

  2. It may be true that the gospel helps many devout Mormons deal with the death of a loved one, but from those I’ve seen approaching death, it’s not much help in nearing the finish line of one’s own life.

    Whether this is because of doubts of the existance of an afterlife or because of the doubts of personal worthiness to inherit a good spot in the afterlife is hard to say.

  3. John Mansfield says:

    Which year was this?

  4. It seems to me that the only useful thing religion offers in the immediate and medium term (at least) after a death is ritual, prescriptions for caring for the bodies of those left in them. Funeral potatoes are more efficacious than any sermon could be.

    Almost any theological abstraction at the funeral of a child seems nearly blasphemous to me. Surely God keens and wails with us despite having “eternal perspective”–there’s nothing about knowing the end from the beginning that mitigates the agony. If there were, Christ could not have suffered as He did in Gethsemane.

    But of course I wouldn’t say that to someone who felt that s/he was helped by understanding the gospel. I suspect we are all islands, more than ever when confronting the deaths of our loved ones.

  5. I agree that theological constructs, are of variable value in such situations, Kristine.

  6. Mansfield, this was 1989.

  7. StillConfused says:

    I remember going to my brother’s funeral (he gave his life as a fireman). We were all quiet and respectful. Across the way at the cemetery was an African American family that were just wailing and crying like no tomorrow. I found the difference interesting.

    My family isn’t Mormon (well a few are) but we come from a long line of farmers. We just see death as part of the natural cycle. Plus, I never felt cut off from him. My oldest brother was very influential in my life growing up so part of who I am today is as a result of my respect and admiration for him.

    The Mormon angle to death is interesting. My husband is a widower. It is amazing to be the grief he still gets from ward members over his remarriage because they are not ready to move on from his prior wife’s death. Maybe there is too much influence placed on the individual and the family in the LDS faith and more should be placed on ….. (not sure what to put here).

  8. Course Correction, you may find part 3 interesting.

  9. Steve Evans says:

    You mention the “primitive things” that brought you stability. What were those things? Or is that part 3?

  10. Steve, I think it had to do with my thoughts on the plane ride home. The idea that a future would exist is one thing. We had a baby too, and that provided a kind of force behind our day to day routines. The baby needed us absolutely. There was also a feeling, I can’t say it any way but this: there was still a connection to my son at the same time as the obvious separation. And paradox repels me. There are some hints about this in part 3.

  11. John Mansfield says:

    I was a student in WVS’s PDE class in Fall 1990 or maybe Winter 1991, and this essay has provided a light to that fairly peculiar experience. If desired, I will elaborate; otherwise, I won’t.

  12. By all means, John.

  13. WVS, this issue hits close to home for me. I’m not sure why since, while I’ve watched aging grandparents die, I haven’t had to experience the loss of a young close loved one. But during my faith crisis, I had to seriously acknowledge the very thing you are describing.

    I confess I have been a bit obsessed with the philosophy of death since that time. And currently, while I have a hard time believing in an afterlife of any kind, especially one I would enjoy for ETERNITY, the thought of extinction leaves me cold, empty, scared, and frustrated. I’ve read so many views on dealing with death from this perspective, and while I find your friends’ version most comforting (i.e. that our immortality is in the memories we leave behind) I’m still unsatisfied. This topic is a real stickler for me and one I worry about far too much. It is in this area, almost uniquely, that compels me to long for my previous orthodox certainty in the Mormon worldview.

    I’m looking forward to the next part.

  14. jmb275, I hope it will be meaningful.

  15. Martin Willey says:

    WVS, these pieces are so beautiful and really resonate with me. When I lost a close family member, I remember a feeling almost like shock over how little comfort “The Gospel,” offered. This, despite constant contrary affirmations by well-intentioned friends and supporters. I also came to realize, after my own years of depression, that my facile dismissal in younger days of the idea of being “angry with God,” was incredibly naïve. Although I eventually emerged with (most) of my testimony and belief in the afterlife intact, the two lessons I learned from this experience are that one can survive grief (a valuable lesson to learn early), and that God’s promises must be eternal, because they are not always that helpful here and now.

  16. Martin Willey says:

    WVS, these pieces are so beautiful and really resonate with me. When I lost a close family member, I remember a feeling almost like shock over how little comfort “The Gospel,” offered. This, despite constant contrary affirmations by well-intentioned friends and supporters. I also came to realize, after my own years of depression, that my facile dismissal in younger days of the idea of being “angry with God,” was incredibly naïve. Although I eventually emerged with (most) of my testimony and belief in the afterlife intact, the two lessons I learned from this experience is that one can survive grief (a valuable lesson to learn early), and that God’s promises must be eternal, because they are not always much good here and now.

  17. When my daughter died, I learned that “mourning with those who mourn” is NOT the same as “comforting those that stand in need of comfort.” The only people who didn’t try to comfort us were my non-LDS coworkers. So many members of our ward said things like, “You must be so grateful for the knowledge the gospel brings you.” Usually, I would smile faintly and nod, “yes, I am.” But later, after I was safely away from them, I would want to scream, “NO, I’M NOT! Don’t you understand? I will never see my baby again in this life!” Of course, it didn’t help that my faith had been reduced to rubble because of all the blessings she had received saying that she would recover and lead a full life, and that during some of those blessings I felt what I had previously identified as the Holy Ghost confirming the truth of those blessings.

  18. harpchil: I’m with you I think on the comfort angle. I have some ideas on prophecy and blessings that are tangentially related to things I will mention in part 3.

  19. WVS, this has all been so personal that I have hesitated to comment. First, thank you for sharing this with us.

    Most of my experiences with death have been with some time to prepare, as in the case of both of my parents, and my wife’s mother, who were all ill, and we knew that the end was coming. Even though we lived 800 miles away, we had many opportunities to spend time together, and emotionally prepare.

    However, my wife’s sister lost her husband in his early 40′s to brain cancer, leaving here with one kid in college, and three still at home. From the time that a problem was detected to his death was about six weeks. That was a crushing blow, and we were unable to spend any real time with him.

    I’ve wondered why his death hit me so much harder than my parents. The sudden onset of the problem and the rapid decline in someone of such vitality of youth and presence of personality may have had something to do with it. I believe there is something in having the time to reflect, prepare, and contemplate the passing that is helpful. But even my brother in law’s fairly quick death pales in comparison to the sudden unanticipated blow that you were dealt, compounded by being so far away and unable to be home immediately.

    I believe there are different dynamics at play here. We have the hope/faith/testimony of an afterlife to cling or aspire to that helps in varying degrees. We also have the rational experience of a hole opening up in our lives where the loved one once was, and is no longer there. Where we have time, I think we are better prepared for the intellectual side of the problem, the actual physical loss of someone in our lives. When it is thrust upon us without warning, I think our faith ends up playing catch-up with reality. How well we handle this balancing act obviously varies from individual to individual.

    Thank you for sharing.

  20. I experience Mormonism as being surrounded by the dead. I’ve been baptized on their behalf. I’ve carried their names in my pocket through the temple. Our foundational stories are full of them– Moroni, John the Baptist, et al. Joseph Smith talked to them. We are taught that the spirit world is near to us in some way.
    No one raises an eyebrow at the occasional testimony of someone recounting a dream or vision of someone dear to them who has passed on. My grandmother told of seeing her mother in her bedroom one night. I’ve had a few scattered experiences that are persuasive, to me at least.
    I don’t think all that would make the loss of a child any easier to bear– at the time– but I don’t think I could ever be convinced of the idea of extinction at death. So hopefully that would be comforting at some point.

  21. Thank you all for sharing your sorrows, faith, and thoughts. I lost my mother last January. In her case, it was a long goodbye from Multi Infarct Dementia, and seeing it coming was like stepping through “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” Whether I am reunited in an eternal family with my mother or not, she’s gone now; and even though looking back I can’t think of a thing we could have done different to make it better, I’m nevertheless filled with thoughts, regrets, and wishes.

    A friend just lost her husband to cancer (early 50s) and he was sick for a while, so we all saw the optimism, the fight, and the defeat. A short while after his death, she had a vivid dream about him. He was back up in the mountains where they used to live, working on a project outdoors, and half joking, half complaining about something the kids had done that they’d better fix. He was his old healthy self in the dream, and went on about normal things, then right in the middle of his conversation, without missing a beat, told her she needed to let go of him and move forward. Then she woke up.

    It reminded me of a dream my mother had shortly after her mother died in the 80s. Grandma stood in the short hallway by the front door, with her coat and hat on, as if she were about to walk down to the bus stop and go shopping in town, as she often did. Mom asked her mother, if she was all right, and in the most casual tone, as if it should have been obvious, Grandma answered that she was fine. Then Mom asked her mother, did she miss us? And with the lightest and utmost nonchalance Grandma answered, “No.”

    My mother and grandmother may well be sitting on celestial thrones, ecstatic in the Beautific Vision or a glorious garden paradise. I still miss them, think often of things I wish I’d done and said, daydream about how it would be if there was a resurrection and they came back, and feel all sorts of emotions about them. It still hurts. My suspicion is that we, living here in the material world, have to be wired a certain way to function that almost precludes perceiving or imagining any other way of existence. When I encounter religions or individuals with world views that are easily understood, I assume that they are wrong, even though well-intentioned. In order for there to be anything beyond this life, the way we are now (down to the laws of physics) have to pass away or be transcended somehow.

    I wish I had some comforting, faith-promoting way to button this up , but I don’t. For those cast adrift over an abyss of sorrow, there are no simple maps.

  22. Interesting to read someone else’s experiences.

  23. This was fascinating. I’m going through it right now. My younger brother drowned three months ago, two months before his first son was born. It’s interesting- the last thing I wanted to hear from anyone was “at least we know where he is” or “you’ll find comfort in the knowledge of the resurrection”. The worst offender was the well-meaning Stake President who came to give me a blessing an hour after I got the news. Resurrection doesn’t take away the pain of going the rest of your life without your loved one. I don’t think the hope of it is supposed to. That’s something that comes much later, I think. If you find yourself at a lack for words, try “I’m so sorry you’re hurting. Tell me about him/her. What was he like?” Knowing that other people appreciate the magnitude of the hole that is left brings more comfort that any platitude.

  24. John Mansfield says:

    My story below was my view, as a stranger, of what WVS described above:

    Perhaps I played out my actual future somewhat poorly. There were several years of depression, where I found it just possible to function in my job and family as a kind of surface wave, propagating along without disturbing the darkness beneath. My children, I think, took the brunt of my half-daze. It was difficult to fully participate in their lives. Like many people, I surmise, I kept the depth of my own darkness a secret and consequently their’s may have been hidden from me

    A year or two after the death of his son, I took a class in partial differential equations from WVS. This was a point toward the end of my undergraduate studies, a time when a student has a sense of what he will be doing next, and courses are selected not just because they sound interesting or fulfill a program requirement, but because certain compentencies are lacking and must be acquired. This was case for me and this class. I had already been dealing with PDEs and could see that I needed to know a lot more about them than I did.[1]

    Teaching at BYU is pretty good, often excellent. In only one case I experienced was it poor, and that is the case I am writing about now. WVS’s lectures never really addressed the class, only the classroom—the walls, the air; not the people. He would enter, speak, and leave. The students were dumbfounded. What was going on? After a couple weeks, one student asked a question, in part to see if it was possible to get the professor to interact with his class. The experiment was mostly unsuccessful. My best guess was that our professor was very uncomfortable with people and had to deal as well as he could (which wasn’t very well) with teaching being part of his mathematician job. The particulars of many classes and professors have faded from memory, but this one has haunted me.

    As I wrote already, this was an important class for me, and the matter wasn’t simple, and we were on our own. A couple friends and I met weekly in the library to figure out this stuff—not my usual study method. I checked out three or four PDE texts from the library to piece the subject together. In the end, I probably came away understanding PDEs better than I would have with more standard instruction. Self-study is costly though; there is no way I could have given that much attention to four or five other courses simultaneously. There is good reason for paying thousands of dollars for “tuition” under salaried professors. Months later, I had another interaction with WVS. I attended an endowment session in the Provo temple, and he was the officiator. The juxtaposition added to my haunted memory the reminder that there was more to the man than whatever I experienced.

    [1] The College of Engineering and Technology held monthly lectures for the whole college, often given by some successful alumnus. One such was given by someone who had lived a mostly business-managerial type careeer. To explain himself to us, he said “Since I left college I haven’t once solved a differential equation.” As we left after the lecture, I said to my friend byside me, “Tom, I will solve differential equations.” “John, I know you will.” And so it has been all my years since.

  25. Sorry, John. You had to run the gauntlet of my experience, without knowing it. Though that would not have helped you do it I suspect. I also suspect that your story is multiplied many times in those few years, not just in school, but everywhere. My colleagues suffered some as well. The echoes of our lives reverberate through others, and it’s not always pleasant.

  26. Having lost a child, I think the biggest problem is that most people try to comfort instead of validate.

    There is NOTHING you can do to a comfort someone who is grieving, unless you allow them to just grieve comfortably. That means listening, holding, and loving them. Your opinions and beliefs aren’t important, just listen. Physical comfort is essential. Don’t judge, no matter what they say or do, just LOVE them. If you don’t know how to respond just say “I’m so sorry.” or ” It is understandable that you would feel that way.” or “I don’t know why this happened”.

    Do NOT try to justify or explain WHY…it is not your place or responsibility. That is something they will receive inspiration about for themselves. And when they do, respect it.

    Crying is healthy…consider yourself blessed to be a witness of their grief, if they are comfortable enough around you to cry. They will have to repeat things, and verbally argue their beliefs, as they try to sort through the reality of what happened. Don’t try to stop them…its necessary.

    Don’t be surprised if they are still moments of grief 1 year later, 2 years later, 5 years later…

    Don’t run from grief…yes, it is scary and uncomfortable, but you will learn immeasurably about life and love and friendship and God through the experience of mourning with those who mourn. It is one of the most sacred things we can ever experience in this life.

  27. Learning what happens after death is a comfort, if you believe in it. When my younger Sister died at 16, I was lost in sorrow and not sure really where she was at. Growing up Catholic I had a very basic belief system and through my teens developed some of my own thoughts about an afterlife but I was no turned on my head when faced with not only the loss and regrets of such a short time together, but my own mortality. I needed to know. Loosing a Sister is nothing like loosing a Child, I don’t know how I would deal with that, but I have a better understanding of the afterlife and also a belief that there is one, albeit there is always that little bit of doubt there in the back.
    Thanks for sharing such a powerful personal experience and how you are working through it.

  28. Also, while the gospel does offer hope, while you are grieving, it is like a lighthouse 500 million miles away. It does nothing for you while you are making your way through the endless fog. Someday you will enjoy the light it offers again, but not anytime soon.

    Hearing gospel platitudes usually only offended or hurt. Because while you are trying to offer hope, you are really just invalidating their very real and immediate pain and loss. It doesn’t matter what will happen in the afterlife, we are here, and they are gone, and now we have to live on without them. That is what hurts.

    So if it begins with “At least…” or “But…” just don’t say it. It may comfort you, but it will only hurt the person you are saying to.

  29. WVS, I especially appreciated this installment. I have dealt with death of a close family member four times in my life – my four grandparents. None of the four times caused me mourning or regret. I have come to have a mild view of death because of my lack of pain I have associated with it. Not that I am aloof or take it lightly, but rather somber without pain.
    Reading this segment is somewhat of an epiphany for me. Its helping me to understand the pain that I will inevitably face later in life when I will likely see my parents die before me, likely my sisters who are older than me, and possibly my wife and/or children.

    Additionally I found John M’s comment 24 fascinating. It is a great reminder that we are not islands. And even more so, that our actions and attitudes have echos that reverberate far more distant than we often realize.
    It makes me wonder about my 9 month period of unemployment a couple years ago. As I went through that time in my life that was filled with depression and bitterness, I wonder how much of my burden I let others carry without realizing it.

    Thank you for this series. Its making me think.

  30. Martin Willey says:

    O, thanks for the excellent advice (## 26 & 28). I agree completely with your comments and will try to remember your suggestions for helping those who are mourning.

  31. O; I agree with your statements in #26, that is very good advice for those on the side watching someone they know go through a difficult time.

    the statement in #28 though:

    …while the gospel does offer hope, while you are grieving, it is like a lighthouse 500 million miles away. It does nothing for you while you are making your way through the endless fog…

    I totally disagree, the Gospel isn’t there to make you feel less pain, its is there to be a lighthouse, however far away you may feel it is, it is still a guiding light.

  32. Ron W…have you lost a child? Maybe you have and just had a different experience, but I, like WVS, did not (could not?) feel any comfort from the gospel while I was grieving. At the very least, not from hearing gospel justifications or explanations for why my child had died, or why I should be okay with it. It doesn’t help when people are trying to spoon feed it to you. The journey to peace/healing while grieving is a VERY long, difficult one. Its not like you can pray for peace and ta-da! Its there!

    Grieving is not just feeling sad or missing someone. It is a psychological response that involves our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual parts. I read a quote once that said “It is hard to hear the still, small voice of God when your soul is screaming in pain.” That is how it felt for me. The pain was so overwhelming, the blackness so black, the deepness so deep…there was NO way I was going to be able to feel the comfort of the Spirit or the gospel. I don’t know why that is…maybe it really is impossible to feel the Spirit while your soul is in so much physical pain.

    I think this aspect of grieving is what is so hard for others in the church who have not been through it to understand. You have had hard times in your life where you have still been able to feel and recognize the gospel/Spirit in your life, so you assume its the same across the board for any trial. But its not. It is different when you are grieving, especially the loss of a child that is unexpected and unnatural. For many their grief is compounded with post-traumatic stress syndrome as well.

    Even if one has had a different experience, it still should not, and does not, discount the very REAL experience of someone else. I could not feel the peace from the gospel/Spirit while I grieved. Please don’t invalidate that or make people feel guilty or that it is somehow their fault if they don’t experience the same thing as someone else. Grief comes in all forms, and if you felt the Spirit, great. But for many (most) of the members I have become friends with, it was not like that for them. And the assumption that it should be is very hurtful and prolongs the healing process.

  33. My main point of bringing that up was because people often misguidedly try to use the gospel to make grieving people “feel better”. I agree that the gospel is not a “cure all” for pain. But in our church the majority do believe that the gospel (should) bring comfort. It is a line you hear repeated time and again. And even if it doesn’t totally absolve the pain, most people believe you should be still be able to feel the comfort from it. And its just not so when you apply it to grief. That’s the problem I was trying to outline.

  34. I stated in post 27 about loosing my sister, not comparing to loosing a child.

    Regardless of religious background, everyone has those feelings of empathy towards others when they see them in pain and suffering, and you are right we say things that we think will help because we want to ease the suffering that we see. We can’t feel what they are feeling right as they are going through it but we still have empathy.

    I think that you are talking about two issues here in that the Gospel isn’t much of a comfort ( and I agree with that in a sense ) while you grieve, and second that peoples reaction/interactions to the one who is grieving. The first deals with the one who is grieving and this is completely internal. It is a large weight to come crashing down and all of the things that we have taken for granted for so long are compounded at once. The loss of a future anything. All of the things that will be missed. Whether or not we did enough while we were together. All of the times of regret for the bad things we put them through. All bundled into one heaping ball of soul crushing remorse. This is internal and there’s not much coming from anywhere outside that will change it.

    I hope to be a positive person. I hope to always look at the 5% of good thats left in the bowl that have have to eat of 95% “other”. I’ve been in dark places where I felt like the Light of Christ couldn’t reach me. So down in my situation that I had the plan and was ready to end it. Was the lighthouse out? No, I just didnt want to see it (not that everyone’s situation is the same in those moments of wanting to see or not see), the Gospel hadn’t changed or wasn’t any father away…

    And if someone had said to me anything about the gospel and safety/securing/lightening burdens (which someone did say), I shrugged it off as it didn’t really apply to me in my present state. But eventually it did matter and that lighthouse glimmer of hope was still there, pointing the way in the fog that I was mired down in. Without it, I wouldn’t be typing here tonight.

    I totally agree with your point about people being misguided in their desire to help and heal. I learned not too long ago to just say to someone “I am sorry for what you are having to go through”, which I genuinely am. Also not to say something that I don’t really mean, just for the sake of saying it or feeling like it is what needs to be said. I realized it doesn’t do much and usually made even me feel worse. Am I perfect it that ro follow my own advice all of the time, not even close. but I try at least.

    Hope that it clarifies abit about my post in regards to light shining in dark places.

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