Resurrection from grief
A Christian Science perspective.
Ten years ago my mother passed on. My mother was my best friend, personal cheerleader, and closest female companion. We talked every day. We had side-by-side condos. We vacationed together. Even when living in separate cities, we spent a week or more together every three months.
When lives are so entwined, healing grief has to be more than a momentary glimpse of eternal life. From my intimate study of the Bible (another activity my mom and I shared), I saw something of Christ Jesus’ teaching that life is eternal. Jesus promised, “[W]hosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:26). My mother certainly had a deep conviction that Jesus was the promised Messiah, bringing the spiritual message of God, eternal life, to humanity. There was no doubt in my thought that her life had not ended and that she was continuing to live happily and harmoniously as the Bible teaches.
Yet the conviction of eternal life and my mom’s continuity as God’s beloved daughter didn’t address the hole I felt in my human experience. We spent so much time together. There was no one like her. I found some comfort in the Scripture verse prior to Jesus’ promise of eternal life. John 11:25 says, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
I began to apply this promise to myself.
Christ, the divine idea of true manhood and womanhood, is present and eternal, and my true individuality is found in Christ. This wider view of life as spiritual resurrects me from feeling dead in any way. It lifts me from feeling that aspects of my life and happiness died with my mother. My resurrection would be rising to new views of myself as the expression of Spirit, complete in every way, fulfilled and satisfied. Spiritual resurrection would have its evidence in new views of happiness, companionship, and satisfying activities right here and now. I could accept resurrection for myself and begin to live anew.
Mary Baker Eddy, whose discovery and founding of Christian Science transformed the religious thought of many, gave a deeper view of resurrection. Referring to the impact of Jesus’ resurrection on his disciples, she wrote: “His resurrection was also their resurrection. It helped them to raise themselves and others from spiritual dulness and blind belief in God into the perception of infinite possibilities” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 34).
Jesus’ physical resurrection lifted his followers into their own mental and spiritual resurrection. They began to discern something of the wider, healing implications of eternal, spiritual life to the present human experience. This higher, spiritual view changed them. The disciples became of greater service to others. Their healing and saving ministry increased. A resurrection of thought and increased spiritual discernment resulted in their perceiving and demonstrating some of the infinite possibilities for good that God was giving to them.
This is such an encouraging promise, that a more spiritual view of life can bring a resurrection from loneliness. Relying on God to lift us up mentally can help us perceive infinite possibilities for happiness in our own lives.
I devoted myself to the activity of resurrection. For me this was the ongoing activity of the Christ, or harmonious, spiritual idea of life, directing and guiding my life into a higher purpose. Instead of dwelling on what I had lost, I began to be willing to consider new views of God’s infinite possibilities. I challenged myself to spiritually understand more about God and our relation to God.
The deeper understanding I gained soon resulted in offers of new activities that gave me increased opportunities to share what I was learning, to heal others. I began to be open to new possibilities for closer friendships and activities with other relatives. I took advantage of possibilities for meeting new friends and sharing travel experiences with other people.
Ten years later, I realize God has tenderly and graciously expanded my life beyond what I could have ever imagined. I communicate daily with my daughters-in-law and have close relationships with several relatives. Grandchildren drop in all the time and feel welcome to move into the house whenever it suits them. I’ve traveled happily with several relatives and have close friends who are travel buddies. I have friends who have the intellectual curiosity and breadth of my mom with whom I share satisfying conversations. I’m continuing to cherish the joy that comes with seeking out the infinite possibilities of a resurrected life.
I still think of my mother, love her deeply, and cherish her eternal life. Yet I’ve been willing to allow some of the infinite possibilities to fill the hole I felt in my heart. I feel that she and I are forever united in divine Mind, God. And now I can rejoice in many joyous and wonderful relationships, with more appearing all the time. Truly God does have infinite possibilities for each one of us if we will but accept the resurrection thought for ourselves.