by Aleta Kay
Many people get mad at God when they lose a child or other loved one. This is normal. Anger is one of the five stages of grief that people usually go through. People get angry at the person who died because there are so many things left undone or unsaid, or because now is there is a great financial burden or the burden of caring for property or another person without the help of the deceased. They get angry at God for not allowing the deceased to live longer.
The other four stages are blame, depression, withdrawal or holding back emotions from others that we love, and finally acceptance. These are all normal but not everyone goes through all of these stages. When my brothers and I lost our dad, and then our mom, we grieved because we missed them. Our dad had suffered with emphysema for many years and finally died in his sleep. We were thankful he wasn’t suffering any more. I was able to lead him to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ before he died so I know he is in heaven with the Lord.
Our mom had a massive heart attack and three subsequent strokes. After the third stroke the only thing she could move was her eyes. The doctors told us there was no physical therapy they could do that would improve her situation. So with many tears and hugs we told our mom if it was better for her to let go, then let go. We would miss her but we would be okay. I wish I knew for sure that Mom is in heaven. She assured me she knew Jesus but I had never seen any evidence of it in her life. She was a “good” person by society standards, but as discussed in previous articles, we can never be good enough on our own for a just and holy God. The only way to get to heaven through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross.
The point of all of this is that it is normal to be angry at God for a while. It is normal to be mad at the one who died for a while. But staying angry is a waste of emotion and energy. What does it change? It may cause you severe health problems. Proverbs tells us that bitterness is as rottenness in the bones. Unresolved bitterness and anger will cause major health problems and won’t affect the one you are angry with at all.
God wants to help you through your grief. If you’ve lost a child your spouse NEEDS you to help him or her through that grief. It needs to be shared. If you don’t know what to say just cry together. If you blame each other stop criticizing and ask yourselves what could have been done differently.
We all want to blame someone when tragedy occurs. In the end, though, God has all of our days numbered. We won’t always know why a person dies, especially a young person. Often people die because of bad choices they make: the people they hang out with, the activities they participate in. Sometimes they’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes they’re in the right place at the wrong time. God sees time as one long continuum. He doesn’t see it split up into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years like we do. He knows the beginning from the end. He sees what’s coming down the road. Sometimes He decides our number is up in order to keep us from something worse later. But every baby, every child who has not yet developed a conscience to know right from wrong, when they die, go to heaven to be with Jesus. They are safe. And since they were God’s children before they were yours, doesn’t He have the right to decide what’s best for them? He always does what is best for us, even if we can’t see it.
Trusting God is not always easy, but it is necessary. We can’t change God. We can’t change what happened. What we can change is our attitude, the way we think about things. It may take time to get to the place of acceptance and getting past the anger. But for your health’s sake, for the sake of your remaining loved ones, and for the sake of a possible future home in heaven, please ask God to help you get over your anger. He can’t help you if you don’t let Him. He isn’t mad at you. The death of that loved one was not a punishment for you. God wants to open new doors down the road. He’s knocking at your heart’s door now. Won’t you invite Him in? He loves you.