When you have lost a child you tend to be drawn to other parents sharing the same heartbreak, and they in return, are drawn to you. You learn quickly to lean on each other for support, guidance, and a understanding ear. Their heart is the only heart that can truly understand what you are going through and the pain of grief you live with everyday. The what if’s, the why’s, the thousands of questions that fill your brain and some days turn it into mush. There are days you begin to doubt your faith. You begin to wonder, “Is what we have here, on earth, all we will ever have?” Days that you think the last time you saw your child’s face will be the last time. I was asked this question today, through Kelli, from a parent that lost her son. “Does Brad ever waiver from his faith that he will see Lindsay again?” I was raised Baptist and to believe that there is a heaven, there is a loving and forgiving God, there is a home waiting for me when my soul leaves this temporary earthly vessel. Now, I am friends with people of many different religions. My wife was raised Catholic, I have friends that are Mormon, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Holiness and nondenominational. We all go to different buildings, we all worship in different ways, we all sing different songs in so many different ways, we all travel a different path. We all have different opinions and different interpretations of what faith means. What I have learned over my many years here on this earth and through the vastly diverse group of people I am honored to call my friends, is that no matter what path of faith we travel, they all lead to the same God.
There is not one soul living on this earth today that can tell me anything different. No one that has died, left this world and came back to say, “It’s not true, don’t believe it, there is nothing after death.” There is only one man that ever walked this earth, that died, was placed in a sealed tomb and three days later arose to live again. The words he spoke are what keep my faith strong, even in the darkest days of grief.
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
So to answer the question, no ma’am. Through belief and understanding grows a faith that exceeds all boundaries. Faith has been the only constant in this roller coaster ride of grief. The faith and belief that when I close my tired eyes for the last time, when the last breath of life leaves my body, the first thing I will see is that gleaming smile and the out stretched arms of my Lindsay Lou.