Freed from grief
Two years ago my dear wife of 23 years suddenly passed away. I was devastated. I felt that my life was over, that there was no reason to live. The house seemed so empty without her.
I spent the next several months praying to overcome a deep sense of loss, grief, and loneliness. When I sought prayerful help from a Christian Science practitioner, he asked me to study two passages from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. One is on page 57 : “The wintry blasts of earth may uproot the flowers of affection, and scatter them to the winds; but this severance of fleshly ties serves to unite thought more closely to God, for Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings for heaven.”
The other is on page 266 : “Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank? Then the time will come when you will be solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with divine Love. When this hour of development comes, even if you cling to a sense of personal joys, spiritual Love will force you to accept what best promotes your growth.”
What seemed to be the darkest moment of my life became an opportunity to draw closer to God. It was a time for me to expand my sense of love beyond personal relationships and recognize God as the real source of love, companionship, and happiness.
This was easier said than done. When I told the practitioner how much I missed my wife, he shared a verse from the Bible: “Thy Maker is thine husband” (Isaiah 54:5 ). He asked me to think deeply about God being my wife, but that idea seemed too abstract. All I wanted from God was to bring my wife back.
The practitioner listened to me compassionately and then said that whether I was married, divorced, single, or widowed, I would still need to realize my oneness with God. He pointed out that not long before his crucifixion, Jesus said, “The Father hath not left me alone” (John 8:29 ). The word alone comes from the Middle English al one—literally “all one.”
I had learned from my study of Christian Science that man is forever one with God as His spiritual reflection, and so cannot be separated from divine Love or any of Love’s ideas. That means our Father-Mother God has not left any of His beloved children husbandless, wifeless, friendless, or joyless.
Mrs. Eddy writes, “Where God is we can meet, and where God is we can never part” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 131 ). This reassured me that my wife dwells where God is and that I dwell in the same place—where we each continue to work out our own salvation, always conscious of our oneness with God.
Each morning as I awoke to a big, empty house, I asked myself how I could apply these truths in my daily life. Instead of recalling the familiar voice of a beloved wife, I prayed to feel God’s loving presence embracing and comforting me. Whenever I wrestled with loneliness, I prayed more earnestly and persisted in affirming my inseparability from God’s unconditional love for His children.
For several months I maintained this mental stand and devoted a great deal of time to studying the two books that comprise the pastor of the Church of Christ, Scientist, the Bible and Science and Health. When I felt sorry for myself, I sang hymns from the Christian Science Hymnal.
Gradually I gained the conviction that companionship can never be lost because God’s love for us is constant and does not change. When I awoke in the morning, I felt joy instead of emptiness. I could recall without sadness the loving and caring qualities my wife expressed, and I cherished happy memories of our time together.
Soon I was able to resume my normal life, and to launch a brand-new chapter as well, leaning on this promise from Science and Health: “Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love” (p. 66 ).
I am so grateful for the loving and patient support I received from the practitioner and for the growing understanding of God’s tender love that Christian Science has given me.
New Boston, New Hampshire, US