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Losing faith


Julia

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Hi everyone, forgive me in advance if I ramble on...About three months before my dad passed away very unexpectedly, I became absolutely obsessed with near death experiences and research into the afterlife. When I say obsessed I mean it was literally all I would think/read/talk about, to the point where I was driving everyone nuts. I bought dozens of books on the topic in just a few weeks and devoured them all as fast as I could. This included a few books on dealing with grief, which was silly because I had never lost anyone close to me.

My dad and boyfriend (the two people closest to me) would ask where this sudden interest came from and I would reply that I had no idea but for some reason it brought me intense comfort to read about these things. One day I had woken up and thought "I want to read a book on near death experiences" and from there it just snowballed. I even sent my dad a book on the process of dying and moving into the afterlife, which he probably thought was my way of suggesting he was getting old ;)

Three weeks after sending him that book, he died. As I said, it was terribly unexpected. He had gotten a clean bill of health from his doctor a few weeks prior but ended up having a heart attack. He was living out in the middle of nowhere and it was a few days before anyone found him. (He sometimes would lose cell phone reception for a day or two, so it wasn't terribly suspicious when he didn't answer my calls.) Because he wasn't found right away, the coroner didn't want me to see his body. He was in bad shape and the coroner thought it might upset me, but sometimes I still regret not seeing him. Somehow it never felt quite real because of that. And the thought of him dying all alone, well I'm sure many of you know how painful that can be.

So perhaps it's just coincidence, but it felt like I had prepared myself (or been prepared) for my dad's death. The insights I gained from all those books really effected the way I dealt with my loss. Although the grief and pain were overwhelming, I believed that my dad still existed, that his spirit had just moved on from his body. And if his spirit still existed, then that meant there was a way for us to connect. At first I really felt my dad around me all the time.

Random aside, the mortuary he ended up at was even on Julia Drive, (my name is Julia), which only further strengthened my belief that he was with me.

Lately, though, something has happened. I feel like I'm losing faith. I've never been religious, but have always been spiritual, and have always believed in a higher power and an afterlife. But more and more each day I find myself doubting that. I don't feel my dad at all anymore. I call out for him and there's just nothingness. I wonder if maybe he did just cease to exist, maybe he's gone forever. It's so depressing. For the last few months, the one thing that has kept me going was the belief that I will see my dad again. With that slipping away from me, I feel very lost and alone. I've been drinking too much lately, which of course just makes me feel worse. Nothing is worse than grieving besides grieving with a wretched hangover! When he first died I didn't drink a drop for fear that alcohol would make me less receptive to any signals he was trying to send me. Now, reading that, I just feel foolish for thinking that is even possible. I feel so numb and I want my faith back. I want to believe again but I don't know how. :(

My dad wouldn't want me to be so sad and desolate.

Thanks for listening.

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I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. The fact that he was alone I know makes it even more painful. If it helps at all my mom who was very lucid and suffered from no mental illness or decline started to say that she saw other people in the room with us. Some she knew who had passed on and others she wasn't quite sure who they were. She was quite ill and I believe she was already transitioning to the next life. So I guess what I am saying is that it is possible that your dad was not alone but I know you are questioning all of this type of stuff right now. I think that is totally normal. You have had a shockwave go through your life. It calls all sorts of things into question. I am religious and the death of my mom caused me to wonder if God even existed for a period. You are not foolish. I also for a few weeks felt as you did that death was the end, there was no afterlife. I felt all religion was a sham. I of course don't know how it will work for you but you may not continue to question your beliefs forever. Grief is tough. It changes as you go along and eventually I am told comes acceptance. I am not there yet so I can't speak to what that is like but look forward to all of us getting there at some point. I have found it helps to talk and tell your story. This seems to be a good place to share. Please be gentle with yourself and take good care.

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stillfighting431

Julia,

Thanks for sharing your view in reply to my post "good ones go first".I feel a little better knowing that someone else out there is just as angry as I'm ,seeing the self absorbed prosper & the kind decent ones dropping like flies.I'm so sorry for your loss.Your dad must've been a remarkable man for touching so many lifes.

I never been a religious or spirtual person all my life & I've hardly ever prayed. But when mom was in hospital I'd pray to God & try to bargain with him,saying she's never hurt a single person in her life,she doesn't deserve this,give me all her pain & suffering instead.After mom died I was so mad,at god,the doctors,myself,I never prayed again.

I haven’t been sleeping well at night & neither is my sister.Without mom,I’m finding it hard to keep all finances straight ,the bank accounts balanced & paying all the bills on time.She made it look so easy.I’m learning to do it all myself but I keep making mistakes.

About a month after mom passed away,I was having a really hard day & I found myself praying again, not to god but mom,saying if you're watching over me then please help me, 'cause I can't take anymore.And to my surprise my day ended on a good note.It happened to me again 2 days later,when nothing seemed to be going my way.

About 3 weeks ago I was out with my sister ,running some errands & I found out that someone had lifted my wallet from my purse.It contained my driving license as well as my sister's too.I had a big fight with my sister that day about being careless.I went to bed very sad & missing mom terribly,asking her to give me strength.I remembered how proud she was when we sisters got our licenses the same day & without anyone's help.

In the morning around 10 two young boys showed up at our door with my wallet. They told me they'd found near the gate of their house several blocks away from our home.It had no cash but when they saw the licenses they knew it was important to get them back to us ,so they'd driven to the address on the licenses.As I thanked them & made my way back to the door ,tears were streaming down my cheeks.I felt that mom was really looking out for me.

And it happened again Oct 6. I was at the ATM with my sister when the machine went dead after the first transaction. Two more people came by talking about how the neighboring ATMs weren't working either, tried their luck but the machine didn't respond. I really didn't want to drive further to find a working ATM when suddenly the machine came back online and I was able withdraw the cash. When we were driving to pay the electric bill I realized that with the around Rs.13,000 electricity cheque I'd written I & the cash I just withdrew I’d emptied out my savings account when I’m supposed to leave at least Rs.1000 balance for the monthly interest to be added.So we drove to the bank to rectify our mistake but it was closed.Next we drove to the electricity office & it was closed as well.The guard outside told us you just missed the cashier by 5 minutes.He closed early because of the festival.That’s when I saw the large billboard on the roadside & realised it ‘dusshera’ that day,a big Indian festival.In our grief we’d totally forgotten about it.How stupid can you get,I thought to myself,Who goes out to run errands on a big holiday.

So we just drove back home.Since I was in no mood to out again the next day,I gave the bill to my cousin & told him to deposit it for me.He was a little amused as he pointed out to me that I’d made another mistake.I’d written the the cheque for the amount payable after the due date(with surcharge of approximately Rs.1000 added) ’cause the printing on the bill was misaligned.So with correct amount deducted my saving account will balance itself out.I was so relieved.

All of the above could be just random coincidences.2 months ago I’d have laughed at it all,but now I just don’t know.I feel like my mom is my guardian angel now,helping me & guiding me,afterall she was the one person I loved the most in this world & she was the one who gave me more than anybody else in my life.I guess what I’m saying is that if a skeptic like can feel this way,you’re not foolish for having your spiritual faith.Try praying ,if not to God then may be your dad.It helped me,perhaps it‘ll make you feel better too.

I remember what my old chemistry professor used to tell us,"Everybody should pray,whether you believe in God or not,it’ll bring you peace".

I hope I haven’t bored you to tears by now.Sometimes I can ramble on without even knowing it.I hope you feel better.

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Julia,

Thanks for sharing your view in reply to my post "good ones go first".I feel a little better knowing that someone else out there is just as angry as I'm ,seeing the self absorbed prosper & the kind decent ones dropping like flies.I'm so sorry for your loss.Your dad must've been a remarkable man for touching so many lifes.

I never been a religious or spirtual person all my life & I've hardly ever prayed. But when mom was in hospital I'd pray to God & try to bargain with him,saying she's never hurt a single person in her life,she doesn't deserve this,give me all her pain & suffering instead.After mom died I was so mad,at god,the doctors,myself,I never prayed again.

I haven’t been sleeping well at night & neither is my sister.Without mom,I’m finding it hard to keep all finances straight ,the bank accounts balanced & paying all the bills on time.She made it look so easy.I’m learning to do it all myself but I keep making mistakes.

About a month after mom passed away,I was having a really hard day & I found myself praying again, not to god but mom,saying if you're watching over me then please help me, 'cause I can't take anymore.And to my surprise my day ended on a good note.It happened to me again 2 days later,when nothing seemed to be going my way.

About 3 weeks ago I was out with my sister ,running some errands & I found out that someone had lifted my wallet from my purse.It contained my driving license as well as my sister's too.I had a big fight with my sister that day about being careless.I went to bed very sad & missing mom terribly,asking her to give me strength.I remembered how proud she was when we sisters got our licenses the same day & without anyone's help.

In the morning around 10 two young boys showed up at our door with my wallet. They told me they'd found near the gate of their house several blocks away from our home.It had no cash but when they saw the licenses they knew it was important to get them back to us ,so they'd driven to the address on the licenses.As I thanked them & made my way back to the door ,tears were streaming down my cheeks.I felt that mom was really looking out for me.

And it happened again Oct 6. I was at the ATM with my sister when the machine went dead after the first transaction. Two more people came by talking about how the neighboring ATMs weren't working either, tried their luck but the machine didn't respond. I really didn't want to drive further to find a working ATM when suddenly the machine came back online and I was able withdraw the cash. When we were driving to pay the electric bill I realized that with the around Rs.13,000 electricity cheque I'd written I & the cash I just withdrew I’d emptied out my savings account when I’m supposed to leave at least Rs.1000 balance for the monthly interest to be added.So we drove to the bank to rectify our mistake but it was closed.Next we drove to the electricity office & it was closed as well.The guard outside told us you just missed the cashier by 5 minutes.He closed early because of the festival.That’s when I saw the large billboard on the roadside & realised it ‘dusshera’ that day,a big Indian festival.In our grief we’d totally forgotten about it.How stupid can you get,I thought to myself,Who goes out to run errands on a big holiday.

So we just drove back home.Since I was in no mood to out again the next day,I gave the bill to my cousin & told him to deposit it for me.He was a little amused as he pointed out to me that I’d made another mistake.I’d written the the cheque for the amount payable after the due date(with surcharge of approximately Rs.1000 added) ’cause the printing on the bill was misaligned.So with correct amount deducted my saving account will balance itself out.I was so relieved.

All of the above could be just random coincidences.2 months ago I’d have laughed at it all,but now I just don’t know.I feel like my mom is my guardian angel now,helping me & guiding me,afterall she was the one person I loved the most in this world & she was the one who gave me more than anybody else in my life.I guess what I’m saying is that if a skeptic like can feel this way,you’re not foolish for having your spiritual faith.Try praying ,if not to God then may be your dad.It helped me,perhaps it‘ll make you feel better too.

I remember what my old chemistry professor used to tell us,"Everybody should pray,whether you believe in God or not,it’ll bring you peace".

I hope I haven’t bored you to tears by now.Sometimes I can ramble on without even knowing it.I hope you feel better.

Stillfighting,

Actually your post was inspiring because no matter what you've been through, you never give up. It sounds as though you are actively seeking some type of sign or signal that God is listening. Now maybe I am wrong about that, but deep down, it seems as though you may have a deeper and abiding spirituality than you realize.

Prayers are capable of moving mountains for people, and they often do.

You certainly haven't bored me to tears; instead, I am intriqued by your post. You are rambling either. I understand everything you are saying. Please come back and say more.

I often "talk" to my Dad, who passed away two years ago; I don't consider my conversations with him praying, but then again some might. I just feel comfort when I picture his face and what he would say to me as I talk. It makes me feel better.

And you are right--prayer/spirituality brings peace.

ModKonnie

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A few months before we lost my Dad in a car accident both my sister and I started having panic attacks - neither of us had ever had them before, so it really made no sense. She had just moved away from home and I had just started college (late, at 30 years old). At the time, we chalked it up to stress but they absolutely stopped after he died. My sister told me that when she heard the news she knew... she knew why she was having the attacks and that she would never have one again. She couldn't explain how she knew that, or why, but she is not a spiritual person, so to hear her say this was quite surprising.

I watched a documentary recently that gave me a lot of hope... I am posting a link here in the hopes that it will help you, too. Nothing takes the pain away, but watching this made me feel like Dad is truly in 'a better place' now, and that is all I ever want for him, to be surrounded by peace and love. I am not a religious person, by the way, but I still found this to be profoundly helpful.

Life After Life

My heart goes out to you, and everyone here. We stumble on...

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