Well I started the year with grand intentions. I intended to blog minimally once a month and as my school, work and church schedule wold allow possibly more.
Now of course one of the challenges of blogging and applying for Ordination is that once my thoughts are published online they are there forever.
I have waited a while to write as I had to process somethings personally before making them public.
On February 12 my oldest nephew Suicided. In some ways this was not a shock to me as he was having some issues with depression and had been involved in drugs. He was trying in some ways to turn his life around and had gotten involved in a christian group called Overcomers.
There of course is the debate within the Christian Community of whether someone who Suicides goes to hell or heaven. I firmly believe God forgives us of all our sins...the challenge is in us forgiving ourselves and others.
The first week after this choice my nephew made was followed by a whirl wind of activity of funeral planning, getting information out to people, dealing with my own sadness, supporting my father and sister (my nephew's mother), my other siblings, nieces and nephews. I being the oldest aunt in Canada was asked to do the Eulogy along with creating a service bulletin. The church the funeral was at is paperless and yet many coming to the funeral follow a tradition of having a bulletin. Yes the funeral encompassed probably every mainstream christian denomination you could think of. I got my own priest to send me a template, got termonolgy explinations from the pastor doing the service and another church print them for me. Ah yes it would be one of those Ecumenical moments. In the midst of all this my brother and I spent hours talking to some of my nephews almost 900 facebook friends.
The week following my nephew's funeral I was scheduled to preach on the following scriptures: Leviticus 19: 1-2, 9-18; Psalm 119; 33-44; 1 Cor
3:10-11, 16-23; Matthew 5:38-48.
As one goes through a process called grief that is complex and at times wanders all over the place one can easily blame others for many things.
Below is an excerpt from that sermon that sums up my thoughts:
our Gospel reading today Matthew is relating a portion of the sermon on the
mount. The particular portions we read today are know as the Law of Retaliation
and the Law of Love. In a commentary I was reading it described the law of
retaliation as a law that an injured person might insist on. The principle was
that retaliation is to be equal to the crime. This rule was enacted by God to
prevent people from exacting a greater punishment then was warranted by the
injury done. Jesus instructed his followers to go one step further – to love
the evildoer and wish him good. How often do we actually do that? Each of us
has had times in our life when in our opinion we have been wronged. Do we hold
onto that transgression by others or do we forgive and wish the perpetrator
well. I can’t speak for anyone else, I can only speak for myself. I have at
times not been able to wish my enemy well. It really is hard to let go and wish
someone who has hurt you well. However the times when I have let go and wished
my enemies well a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The question is do I
want the relief of forgiving or do I want the bitterness and anger of holding
onto the hurt?"
Sounds easy peasy. Not that easy to do in reality.
We all have a right to feel emotions of any type when surviving after someone you loves dies. THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO FEEL WHEN SOMEONE YOU LOVE SUICIDES. Actually it really sucks. The keys are to giving yourself permission to feel all the emotions and not getting stuck in one emotion.