Saturday, April 14, 2007

when bad things happen

I belong to a secular homeschooling yahoo group. On it, one of the member's just posted that she was in a car accident and her 2 precious children were injured. One seriously and will most likely not recover and the other minor injuries, should be fine.

First off, I cannot begin to imagine the horror a mother would experience to have her children suffering while she sits by their bedside unable to do anything. It's actually one of my greatest fears.

Now she posted this info. to a secular website. And everyone is praying for her. Maybe not everyone, but there are 20 posts all saying "we're praying for you". WTF??? This is a secular board. I know that doesn't mean everyone is an atheist, but only one pagan popped up to say she was sending healing thoughts and blessings their way. Everyone else was down on their knees praying. Now, my guess is that the atheist members are for the most part staying silent or wishing them the best (there were a couple of those type of posts).

Now my question is, I would love to express my sympathy. And I will not be praying for her. In fact after she said that the doctors are essentially waiting for her one child to die, people kept reassuring her not to lose faith and that anything is possible.

How do you show sympathy for someone without perjuring yourself and offering non-existant hope that really is more offensive than helpful?

I'm pretty sure the people telling her to keep the faith mean well, but it seems like a shitty thing to say. Then if/when her child dies, it's like it will be her fault because she didn't believe enough.

What would YOU do for someone you know in this situation?

6 comments:

Dani said...

I'm pretty sure the people telling her to keep the faith mean well, but it seems like a shitty thing to say. Then if/when her child dies, it's like it will be her fault because she didn't believe enough.

I am a Christian, and it is absolutely horrendous when people attribute death and tragedy to lack of faith or worse, it being "God's Will" for a child to die.

Sometimes, bad things just happen. Has nothing to do with faith or God, it's just life and it sucks. I have three kids with one on the way so I can imagine the pain this mother is going through, and the only thing prayer can do is help her get through this hard time.

What would YOU do for someone you know in this situation?

Express sorrow, sympathy and support, that's all you can do. Offering false hope can only be destructive.

look_an_atheist said...

Hi Dani, thanks for visiting!

I do think the people meant well. However, the implied guilt if her daughter should die, which did happen, was inexcusable. I hope that the ones who said it were just typing before they thought of the consequences of their words.

It is such a horrid tragic situation to be driving down the road, stopped at a light and WHAM your baby is taken from you. No good byes, no chance to tell them "I love you" or to hold them again or read them Good Night Moon for the 10,000th time or give them a kiss or to hear them call you Mommy.

After the impact she turned and she knew immediately that her baby was dead, her body lingered but that was all.

One Mother summed it up very well. The grief never leaves you. It will always sit on your shoulder. And while it will always be there, in time it won't weigh quite so much.

look_an_atheist said...

http://www.wilx.com/news/headlines/7036567.html

This is a news story about the family and their precious little girl.

Dani said...

Thanks for the link. Yes this is a horrible tragedy that NO ONE should ever have to experience, but sadly it is a common reality that many have to face. Hopefully this family will be able to find strength and comfort through their faith instead of blaming themselves.

BigTex71 said...

Unfortunately, this is just more proof to me that there is no God.

Sorry, Dani, but how can God allow this to happen? Is it punishment for something the mother did? Or something the child did? I know stuff happens. And that is why I don't believe in God. But this is another story that shows many more unanswered prayers. If so many were praying for the child, why would God let the child die? If God is omniscient, he would have known this would happen and many people would pray for the child. If God is omnipotent he would have not allowed this to happen. I just cannot see how this could be anything good for the mother. I don't see how it could just be a lesson for the mother. It is tragic. If God is omnipotent, then he ALLOWED this to happen.

I could not imagine the grief of losing a child, nor would I ever wish that upon my worst enemy. Though the God of the Bible orders all newborn babies put to death at one point. Just more reasons for me to not believe.

look_an_atheist said...

Hi Bigtex71! Thanks for stopping by!
Bixtex71 said, I could not imagine the grief of losing a child, nor would I ever wish that upon my worst enemy. Though the God of the Bible orders all newborn babies put to death at one point. Just more reasons for me to not believe.

Yep, the god ordained bloodshed in the bible is gutwrenching. Seriously, I look at all the verses of god condoning, comanding, authorizing or doing the killiing and it is sickening. Especially when there is no attempt to seperate innocent from guilty, infant from adult, civilian from military. And the ultimate hypocrisy of "THOU SHALT NOT KILL" followed by the reasoning who are you to judge god? or god is above the law and does not need to follow it.

Not good enough.