Before my beloved dad passed on, I was quite concerned that when that time came, I might have to overcome deep grief. Well, that time did come. In my need I turned beseechingly to God for solace. I had learned, through my study of Christian Science, that God was my Father-Mother, my true heavenly Parent.
I was inspired to go to my computer, get still, listen in prayer, and type out any inspiration that came to me from God regarding my dad’s unique spiritual identity, his divine nature, including the many attributes that constituted this nature. As I sat typing and listening, the qualities he so distinctly expressed – qualities that have their source in God – surged into my consciousness. For example, his tender kindness when we needed his ear, heartfelt enthusiasm when he watched my brother play sports, unselfish generosity with friends and neighbors, abounding joy with our pets, and diligence and rectitude in his work.
Slowly but surely I was gaining a deeper understanding of what I knew to be my dad’s eternal, spiritual individuality. And along with that I actually began to understand a concept Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, articulates in one of her poems, that “loss is gain” (“Poems,” p. 4). As I persevered in my listening, I actually discovered strengths and gifts in my dad I’d never before realized were there! I was gaining an even more substantive and expansive sense of his true being.
As I saw that this true, spiritual identity of my precious dad was continuing right on, at one with his Maker, I was freed from suffering and sadness. In “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” Mrs. Eddy states these spiritual facts about everyone’s true being: “Man is deathless, spiritual. He is above sin or frailty. He does not cross the barriers of time into the vast forever of Life, but he coexists with God and the universe” (p. 266). I could see that this was true for my dad.
The Bible tells us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. It teaches that our creator is eternal Life and Love, Spirit, filling all space, omniscient and omnipotent. It instructs, too, that God is light; that He is righteous and holy. This being the reality of being, God’s children in His image must also express these immutable deific attributes without interruption.
Christ Jesus proved this truth following his crucifixion. Through his communion and prayer with his heavenly Father during his time in the tomb, he demonstrated that there is no death. Understanding his forever sonship with Life gave him dominion over the grave, and brought his ultimate resurrection and ascension. He showed that the “flesh is of no avail” (John 6:63, Revised Standard Version) – that Spirit is supreme and that man, wholly spiritual, could never be terminated or snuffed out. His ability to think, ponder, and commune with his Maker is indestructible.
If we’re feeling separation and loss from a loved one, we can find genuine comfort through a better understanding of their eternal, spiritual individuality. Because the very qualities our loved one so poignantly expressed on the human scene have their source in God, omnipresent Love, we can’t be deprived of any of the good they expressed. This understanding left me totally comforted – at peace – when faced with grief, and it can do the same for you. “And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life” (I John 2:25).