The Comforter in the face of grief

A Christian Science perspective on daily life

While I was away at college, my dad called to tell me my mother had passed on.

My sisters and I gathered at our childhood home to be with our dad. It was not an easy time for any of us. But it was reassuring to be together, supporting my dad and one another by expressing our love for each other and for Mom and our appreciation of all that she had brought to our family. I think it was this focus on expressing love that bore us up.

My sisters had to leave to be with their own families, and for my dad and me to be alone was more difficult. The house seemed so quiet. But the comforting presence of divine Love was with us, giving us the ideas we needed.

One idea that came to me was for us to reach out to others. I baked some sweets, and my dad and I delivered them door to door to appreciative, kind neighbors.

I was on my Christmas break, and I decided to postpone my return to college. I spent the month of January with my dad. Continuing to understand my mother's life as spiritual and intact, I felt cared for and uplifted.

One evening, while singing a hymn in church, I suddenly knew that she was alive – conscious and well, even though we couldn't see her or talk with her. How happy I felt for that realization! It was an answer to my prayers.

Equally precious was witnessing how divine Love met my father's need. After my mother's passing, he began to read the weekly Bible Lessons published in the Christian Science Quarterly. One lesson included the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. I was in my bedroom upstairs when I heard my father call to me excitedly.

"I just saw a great truth!" he cried from the bottom of the stairs. Then he read aloud this passage from the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy: "Jesus restored Lazarus by the understanding that Lazarus had never died, not by an admission that his body had died and then lived again. Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived or died in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body, and he could not have resuscitated it" (p. 75).

My dad glimpsed that, just as the death of Lazarus' body did not really end his existence – even temporarily – so my mother's individual being had not ended. This idea so impressed my dad. He beamed with joy, and I rejoiced with him. Gladness, comfort, and cheer filled our home that day.

Jesus promised "another Comforter," which he also called "the Spirit of truth." He said it would guide us into all truth (John 14:16, 17; John 16:13).

Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health, "This Comforter I understand to be divine Science" (p. 55). Her book explains the truths or laws of the Comforter in a way that provides practical help, as it did for my dad and me. The ever-present Comforter has a healing message for you – right in the face of grief.

I will pray the Father,
and he shall give you
another Comforter, that he may
abide with you for ever;
even the Spirit of truth;
whom the world
cannot receive,
because it seeth him not,
neither knoweth him:
but ye know him;
for he dwelleth with you,
and shall be in you.
I will not leave you comfortless:
I will come to you.
John 14:16-18

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