Originally Posted by sewsplendidstamper
Yeah those comments are really hurtful. Why would god want him up there instead of with his family? My DD was only 23 days so she obviously did nothing one way or another to "earn" it. In those cases I think people of faith are really selfish. They are saying those things to make themselves feel better.
V and Sammie, I will never understand why people say such things. I agree that they're probably trying to comfort themselves, and not thinking of how it comes across, although I'm not entirely sure it's meant to be selfish. I think sometimes when people don't know what to say, they don't think about how what they say might come across. We certainly heard a lot of comments when we were going through fertility treatment that made me want to scream, but I knew the people well enough to know they meant no harm.
I don't know, maybe if someone thinks exactly as the believer does, it might come across as sharing comfort. But one would have to be pretty oblivious to say that to a nonbeliever.
Sammie, I'm so sad to hear about your friend, and so sad to hear about her losing her son as she did.
I've always had a hard time with that 'everything happens for a reason' brand of consolation, as though faith should somehow mean we can or even should step directly past the anguish of a terrible loss and accept that the person we've lost has gone to a 'better place.' I guess I don't know enough to say whether or not everything happens according to some sort of divine plan. That's just too far beyond my grasp. I think sometimes things happen and it's just random and horrible and can only be borne and endured, and never fully understood. I guess I've always felt that my job wasn't to dismiss anguish as serving some sort of greater 'purpose,' but rather to see the suffering of others and do all I can to bring healing and peace wherever possible.
I think that whatever meaning there might be lies not in the random cruelty of terrible losses, but in the terrible humanity of the struggle to endure, and in all the ways we reach out to one another in compassion, love and hope. If that doesn't or can't transcend claims that only a single religion, or single denomination or interpretation can sanctify that quiet kindness or give it meaning, I would have a hard time believing in a God who would dismiss that goodness because those who share it with their fellow man don't attend the 'right' church.