Good Morning. I know there is a group on Widowed Village called "People of Faith," but I don't see recent posts on it. I think it's appropriate to share this topic in a general setting.
My question is, "If you went to church or any religious service when your spouse was alive, do you still attend now that they are gone?"
This has been an ongoing struggle for me My wife died 3 years ago and there are Sundays that I still feel her profound absence.
While I have not questioned my faith, going to the same church where she used to sit next to me, and now the chair is empty, and it's just me is very difficult. I think those that are married or with a partner have no clue how hard it has been for me.
Easy to say, "Life is about trials and suffering" when you get to go home with your love at the end of the service, and I go back to an empty house.
Today I decided to stay home, guilt-free. Sometimes, and this is heresy to some of my "Christian" friends, I even need a break from the church.
There you have it.
While both Janet and I strongly believed in Jesus Christ we only attended Easter sunrise services that were held in a field close by. We are/were private people and belonging to a Church (or any group) requires interaction. Not a big fan of people so it's not for us. Plus Church is not a biblical requirement and before anyone quotes scripture there is plenty that supports my position. It's the attitudes of people like your "Christian" friends that discourage me from attending Church.
Faith and knowing that we will be together again has helped me tremendously. I watch people like Greg Laurie on YouTube and get a lot of substance out of it. While I am Protestant I do go to a local Catholic Shrine every Sunday morning (6:30am) to light candles for Janet and others and to say a prayer. My car is the first in the lot and when people start showing up I'm gone.
Do what you feel comfortable with but above all hold onto your faith.
I am learning my faith is something that nothing can take away. As I get older I become more grateful for it
I attended church every Sunday with my husband Doug when his health permitted. I attended because it made him happy. He was the social one. I have only been to church twice since he passed away (1 year)
I can't sit where we sat..with him not being there. It's too much for me.
I do not miss it to be honest. The comments of "you shouldn't be crying, you should be celebrating because he is with the Lord" really upset me.
I'm better off taking the time to grieve without those comments. I'm sure they are well intentioned but it hit me the wrong way.
Regarding your comment:
"I do not miss it to be honest. The comments of "you shouldn't be crying, you should be celebrating because he is with the Lord" really upset me"
Those comments are made by those who have an intact "family", are speaking theoretically and without experience. While I am not "celebrating" I do take comfort in knowing the truth is we will be back together again.
Yes Rich I agree. I don't think anyone can know the relentless heart break unless they have gone through it. I'm sure their intentions are good. It's just hard to stomach at this point for me.
I look forward to seeing my hubby again and take comfort in that as well.
Soulmate, first let me say how sorry I am for your loss. Regarding your question concerning church, I believe I can relate to your struggles. It has been almost two years since my husband passed away. We were together 50 years. We joined the same church together and attended that same church for 45 years. We raised our children in the same church and had relatives who attended the same church. We are not a large church so everyone knows everyone. I was talking to my daughter-in-law a few weeks ago and she asked me what has been the greatest help over the past 19 months. Without a doubt it has been my faith but I told her the hardest part has been dealing with "church" people. I know she was shocked to hear me say that but it's true. I will never leave my church but sometimes it has been all I could do to seat through some sermons. When your heart is breaking its so hard to hear that we as Christians should always be happy, that our loved one has gone to a better place, that man is born of a few days, etc., etc. So what I have learned is that people, even ministers , mean well and I try to look at the "bigger" picture, whatever that happens to be. My husband was a deacon and he helped with the youth services. Every quarter we have a Youth Day service. Since my husband's passing I have not attended any. I was asked to speak at the last one and I politely declined. I knew I was not ready. I do feel this year will be different. There have been other church events that I have also not attended. One was the Christmas dinner. Everyone was encouraged to wear ugly Christmas sweaters. The last Christmas my husband and I attended we wore ugly Christmas sweaters, Just the thought of sitting through three or four hours of watching couples in their sweaters and remembering how happy we were at the time was overwhelming. I didn't go. For the most part I have gotten comfort from attending my church. There are times when I look over at where he always sat and I picture him sitting there smiling and humming along with the hymns. But there are some days when I start to get dressed and I end up getting undressed and listening to my favorite gospel songs and reflecting on how blessed I was to have had him in my life. Thankfully, there are those friends in our church who we both knew for 40 plus years and when they don't see me they will send a loving text message saying they understand and offer a word of encouragement. So, soulmate, you do what is best for you. Take care.
Soulmate, keep your faith in your own personal way. You do not need to enter a "building" to be in the presence of God, Source, Spirit. It is always around and part of you.
As Diva so eloquently said, do what's best for you. (If I could insert a little heart here, I would.)