From grieving to living

A Christian Science perspective.

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One day while crying about my late husband, Jamie, my son, James, said to me, “Mom, I know how much you miss him. But I’m still here.”

We hear God's direction in many ways, ways that meet us where we are. That day I felt that my son's words held an important message for me. Over the years, God has spoken to me through the voice of Christian Science, whose teachings are based on the Bible’s holy promises and life lessons.

As I prayed for comfort and guidance in the months following my husband’s passing, I often pondered deeply this passage from the Bible: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deut. 30:19).

Through this Bible passage, I felt God was, in a way, telling me to choose the life of my son over the death of my husband. I considered that I was empowered by God to let the blessing of my son’s presence have greater sway over my life than the suggested curse of widowhood. I wasn’t doomed to limp through my remaining days, swathed in black. I really could walk happily onward, feeling the God-given joy of ever-present divine Love, reflected by all the loving people still sharing the earth with me.

This doesn’t mean to suggest that I love or honor my husband less than I honor my child. But it does seem to me that my son needs my smiles more than my husband needs my tears. And there is so much more to it than just putting on a happy face to make things more pleasant for James. From what I’ve come to know about God, divine Love, I’m convinced that whatever my husband’s sense of life includes now, he knows that God loves him. God is Love and everywhere present. Therefore, divine Love must be eternally uninterrupted.

Christian Science teaches that the real identity of all of God’s sons and daughters is spiritual. And each individual remains eternally conscious of God’s active love, even if he or she is not here in a visible form for us to interact with.

As I’ve continued to acknowledge God as the unstoppable Giver of all good, I’ve increasingly witnessed obvious evidence of His enduring and generous love. I have many male friends who provide tender, helpful support to me in my journey. These friends and family members exhibit many husbandlike qualities indicative of the fatherhood of God, always right at hand. They enrich my life with continuing fellowship, guidance, intelligence, humor, and practical assistance.

One of these friends inherited a fine set of bedroom furniture that he offered to me. One day he and two others took several hours out of their active schedules to load this heavy furniture onto a pickup truck, drive it to my home, and carry it up three flights of stairs to my bedroom. The first thing I see in the morning and the last thing at night is this furniture. Each day starts and ends with this reminder of how God continuously proves the ongoing presence of His love through the expression of human love.

Love never really dies. It just enlarges its forms of expression and appears in our lives in new ways. I chose life over death by consenting to feel cherished by God, no matter who had left my earthly experience. Will I ever marry again? Too soon to tell. But the important thing is I feel companioned. I am consistently conscious of the tender attention and affection of my heavenly Father-Mother God.

In honoring the benevolent instruction from Deuteronomy, I chose life by refusing to accept that even the most tragic of human experiences could cause me to feel denied one shred of God’s perpetual love. And I live happily in the realization that I am inseparable from ever-present Life and Love.

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