My argument with God: Where are you?

I never really knew what loneliness meant until my husband Beau passed away.

I am luckier than most. Lost as I am in my grief I can feel the love and support around me. In many ways, one can say I am never really alone. But deep inside, in that place where blood, bone and sinew cease to define us; where time, space and matter cannot reach, there is an aching loneliness that is beyond our humanity to comfort. The loneliness is intangible, something that cannot be experienced through touch, sight, taste, sound or smell; and yet, it brings an almost physical pain. It is the pain of the spirit, as real yet as abstract as the soul. And yet I wonder, in that place that no human love could reach, where do we seek salvation? Where do we seek relief from our suffering?

Beau was a faithful, prayerful man. I am certain, that in those dark days in his life when nothing I said was enough to comfort him, when my love was not enough to heal his defeated spirit, he had turned to God. Is it not God whom we were taught loved us so much that His love humbles our human love? So, where was God when Beau needed him the most? My spiritual pain is irrefutable and proves that intangibility does not mean non-existence. But if God is as real as this pain then where was he?

In the weeks following Beau’s death I had parked my argument with God. I was too busy being human to deal with abstract realities. I felt almost ashamed to pray, knowing that in my heart I questioned. But pray I did… perhaps by rote. Perhaps by blind faith, imprinted as it was by my Catholic upbringing. In fact, I don’t think I have ever prayed so hard in my life. I prayed from a place of desperation rather than hope. I was told to keep my faith, to believe that God would help me through this, that Beau was in a better place right now because of God’s love. I would nod, smile, cry. Too tired to argue. Too confused to even know how to express my doubts. If I were to understand and accept God as real, then I needed to have something to anchor my belief. Something more than abstruse promises of a heaven too far removed from my present reality to appreciate. Something that makes sense within my human limitations.

I’ve been living like a robot, mechanically going through the motions of trying to understand suicide, poring through biological explanations on genetics and clinical depression, seeking counselors, doctors, priests… Even my tears feel automatic, with someone else playing with the switch. When my questions of science and biology have found answers somewhat I begin looking for something tangible in the intangible. I search for proof that there is something more than this life, something that continues more than his death, something that would give me a reason, a desire to survive. I’ve gotten absorbed in myself, looking inwardly to look for answers, summoning all my faculties of logic and intellect, following relationships of cause and effect. I am imploding with the burden of guilt, the burning need to answer why and the frustration coming from a helplessness I refuse to accept. I am exploding in desperation, reaching out to friends, strangers, anybody who would give me the time of day. I write without editing, words spilling out  like a fountain of blood from an artery severed over and over again, my thoughts running too fast to capture, keyboard a frantic clicking, as if a thought left unwritten would mean the loss of the opportunity for understanding. There is a mania about me.

I am in fear and I am running. I am running from the questions that hound me. No, not the questions brought about by the death of a beloved husband, but the questions I need to ask now that I am left behind.

Who am I if not a wife defined by the love of a man? Why does his loss destroy me?

Who am I if not a strong, intelligent woman defined by success in work? Why do I not allow myself to cry and heal today because I fear what my peers would say tomorrow?

Who am I if not the dutiful friend, sensitive and caring to others? Why am I ashamed to show weakness, to ask to be carried, to admit defeat?

WHO AM I? I asked the question. I had no choice. I’ve cycled and reached the end of my tether. I’ve run out of gas.

Then there I found myself. In that dark place where no man can comfort me, where I am helpless as a babe in the womb, where my spirit is stripped naked and cold. Where I can only assume my Beau was, desperately praying for salvation. And again I ask, where are you God? Beau was here and now I am, and still where are you?

There was nothing else to do but surrender. I threw in the towel and stopped fighting. I let the wings of sadness embrace me. I wept and still weep like there is no tomorrow. I am helpless. I cannot see beyond today. All I could do was ask my questions and pray… pray to an absent God for answers.

I questioned if Beau was at peace, if he was able to leave behind the suffering for which he took his life in order to escape. I questioned if there was truly life after death or if all consciousness ceased the moment he took his last breath. But if there is no life after death then he is now simply gone. And there can be no suffering when one is non-existent. If there is, then he would be in the hands of God. And if God is real, as we have been taught, then he is an ever loving God, as we had been taught; with a love far greater than mine can ever be. If so, then either way Beau would be okay. There is no certainty, none at all. But it offers sense and that offers peace.

I questioned why I had to go through this suffering? Why me? But then again, why NOT me?  If there was no God, no consequences, if everything were random then what is the point of living? So if one is to continue living, as I do, then we need to believe that there is a purpose for everything. That somehow, things happen for a reason, that there is such a thing as cause and effect. There is no certainty, none at all. But it offers sense and that offers peace.

I questioned why I continued to pray, despite my lack of proof, despite my anger, despite my doubts. My answer sounded shallow and embarrassing, even to myself. I prayed for Beau and his soul, I prayed for peace and strength just in case there was a God. I realize now that it was then, when I had thrown all logic and sense to the wind, when my only answer was JUST IN CASE, that what I believed in my heart to be true had begun to show. And in those prayers, left undefended and without explanation, I had exhibited a glimmer of hope — not from my mind but from somewhere deeper, from something intangible, from an indefatigable spirit.

I questioned who I am, when I am stripped naked of everything I use to define myself to be. I questioned who I am if not a wife, a daughter, an employee, a friend. I am soul. I am spirit. And from where do souls come from? Where do spirits begin their existence? Not from an egg, a sperm or any biological process we have come to know. If we humans then are not our creators, then who is? Perhaps God exists after all. There is no certainty, none at all. But it makes sense and that offers peace.

Where are you God? Perhaps, it is exactly there, in the gaps of our lives that you are. It is in this moment of absolute emptiness that i had begun to talk to you more, holding on to nothing more than hopeful faith. Faith that you exist. Faith that my beloved is safe and happy and alive with you. Faith that the promise of your love, your existence, your protection is more than just something imagined to give purpose to an otherwise meaningless existence.

In the end the answers to my questions lie in the reality of the pain in my soul. It is not a physical pain but a pain in the core of my being that no human love can reach. The loneliness in my soul is real. It is a certainty it exists, as surely as God must exist. It makes sense, and that offers peace.

They say it is through suffering that we experience God. I now know why. Dear God, HELP ME THROUGH.

9 thoughts on “My argument with God: Where are you?

  1. I don’t know if this blog is still active. If it is, I hope you are doing well. Your comments about God are so honest, real, and brutal. Thank you.

    • Hello John. Thank you for reading and appreciating my thoughts. I’ve stopped writing here for awhile as I’ve been trying to keep busy with other things to keep my mind of the tragedy. But I do read my own stuff from time to time. Grief does not seem to end just in one cycle. It repeats and repeats. Thank you again. 🙂 – Anna

  2. From this and your other posts, it is evident that you are very intelligent and all-too-human (a good thing). To those who imply that you should get over it – they are the ones with a problem, not you. Humans do not like to deal with unpleasant, cruel things, and often they “criticize” those whom they should actually be supporting.

    Here is the thing – by expressing your wounds and feelings, you are not only helping yourself but also all those who read your writings. You have helped me more than you know. I am dealing with a different kind of challenge – loss of employment. It is a different kind of pain and fear, but it is real.

    It is perfectly okay to question the existence of God. We would be abdicating the existence of a brain and intelligence if we did not. For me, it is the ultimate paradox. I think it is easy to believe in the existence of a God and it is also easy to NOT believe in the existence of a God.

    I am a Catholic like you, but my faith has never been as strong as it perhaps should be. I think when it comes to God, the best approach is the most simplistic approach – more often than not, I believe there is a God, because I find it very difficult to believe that nature and man (and the fact that we have consciences) are simply the products of random chance.

    I think the biggest question humans have – especially when we have to deal with really really tough situations – is whether God is involved in the world or if He just observes and will deal with us after we die.

    I think many people turn from God because there is no really good answer to this persistent question: How can a loving God allow so much misery and suffering in the world. In a way, your writings about God is addressing this same question. Theologians and other religious offer answers but I think most find the answers unconvincing. It is a valid question. But then again, just because a persuasive answer is not found does NOT mean that God does not exist.

    You are helping me already even more because communicating with you is cathartic. So many human beings deal with so much pain and misery. I know your pain has not gone away and who know if it ever will and to what extent. But you will be fine, you will learn to deal with it effectively (in many ways, you already have), and life will open up treasures for you.

    I will not insult you by saying I understand what you must be going through, because I do not. You are a special person, and I thank you for having had the courage to make your feelings and fears “public.” You have helped me more than you know in dealing with my current challenge.

    There should be no guilt on your part. You did not cause the situation. Keep living. Great days and experiences will flow over you in abundant supply in the coming days and years.


    • Hello John,

      I do hope you get this. I’ve just now revisited this site as a notice was emailed to me that I have a comment waiting for moderation. I, as always seem to do when I find myself doing when I get back to these pages, re read my entries and the comments. I saw yours and.I jist wanted to thank you for such an eloquent reply to my message. How wonderful and cathartic it is to have people to talk to in intelligent discourse. I hope you are well. Anna

  3. Hi,
    I come across your blog just now …I thought that what I’m feeling are not normal.a few days ago my husband attempted to end his life by taking 25 capsules of anti depressants drug.he’s been taking that for 3 years now after 4 major still looking for psyche doctors who can see him.After the thing that he did I begun to get confused about how I feel.i felt angry (like silently angry if that’s the right description) sad,guilt.there are times that I just want to cry and shout but I need to show a stronger front for my kids and for my husband as well and I need also to take hold of my emotions coz I am taking care of him ( he’s been bed bound for 7 years now due to muscular dystrophy) I felt so tired dealing with this emotions.the only thing that’s been helping me a lot is my faith and families and friends who tried to give me encouragement and keep on praying for us and my two kids who also pitch in so I can get away even for a couple of hours.i really need to understand why he did what he did.i ll be reading your blog tonight .i know this will also help me a lot so I can deal with this emotion much better.

    • Thank you for visiting my blog. I do hope you find some comfort in my words although all I really ave to share is how I have felt and dealt throughout this tragedy. I have actually not been so active on this blog as I have tried to busy myself with other things to enable myself to move on but I will be writing a book soon and hopefully I will be more active on this blog. I hope your husband finds his peace. I will keep you in my prayers.

  4. Btw ,luckily I was still awake when he took the pills,and I was able to call 911 the minute I saw the empty medicine bottles.medically he is okey now.he was on hold in the hospital for 72 hours ( SOP for those attempting suicide)then the PET team evaluated him and they said that he’s showing remorse over what he did,they sent him home already but he needs to do counseling.They also said that its unlikely for him to do it in the near future…

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