My Search for Comfort
My name is Marion. I met your brother Tom, a very fine young man, at the Kingdom Hall. So now you know that I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Please don’t put this letter down. From what Tom told me, we have something in common. You see, I too lost my son in an accident. Mike was twenty-three years old.
When my son Mike died, I had so many questions. I have had other deaths in the family, but they were always older people. Mike was so young and had so much to live for. I could not understand why he had to die. I would like to show you where and how I received answers to all my questions and found real comfort. If you don’t mind reading, I would like to go back some years to start my story.
I was a farm girl. I was also a devoted Catholic, having been educated in Catholic schools. I remember having many questions, such as, How could God be a Trinity, three persons in one? But when I would ask the nuns, they would usually answer me by saying, “Now, Marion, that’s God’s mystery.”
About twenty-seven years ago I met and married Mike’s father. My new mother-in-law was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which I didn’t know at the time. When we would go over to her house for Sunday dinner she would always manage to say just a few things about the Bible. I would listen, but I told her to leave me alone, which she did—for the next twenty years!
Then Mike was killed. I turned to the Bible for comfort. I went to the modern English translation that my mother-in-law had given me. But it might as well have been written in Greek—I didn’t understand it. I felt I had reached a dead end in my search for comfort.
My mother kept telling me to pray and make novenas to the “mother of God” so that Mike might go to heaven. (You see, as a Catholic, she believed that at death the soul goes to purgatory but that surviving friends and relatives could pray the soul out of purgatory into heaven.) So I took my mother’s advice. I turned to the Church for comfort. I went to have Masses said for Mike, but imagine my shock when I was told I could have only three Masses said a year because they had so many to say for others! ‘Wow!’ I thought, ‘this is going to take the rest of my life, and what will happen to Mike if I should pass away?’ Another dead end in my search for comfort.
What about my husband? Well, I really couldn’t go to him for comfort either. He took Mike’s death very hard. He became so swallowed up in depression that I had to help him. So, for me, another dead end as far as finding comfort was concerned.
About this time I remembered having talked to my mother-in-law at the funeral home. I had said: “Why did God take Mike away from me? Why didn’t he take someone else—a bum off the street or one from jail? Mike had a nice girl friend, a good job and a fine personality. He was a good boy.”
“Marion, God did not take Mike from you,” my mother-in-law answered firmly as she put her arm around me.
At the time I didn’t understand what she meant. But for the next six months those words kept coming back to my mind. I had been going through anger, depression, loneliness and was praying just about day and night. I even thought that I might as well join Mike. So I tried to commit suicide, but I failed. At that point, I actually went out looking for one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
As I write you today, Joan, all my questions have been answered as a result of my studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. For example:
Did God take Mike away from me? No! The Bible explains: “Through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because they had all sinned.” (Romans 5:12) Thus, the basic reason we die is that we all inherit sin and imperfection from our first human parents. As to why some die prematurely, the Bible further explains that this is due to “time and unforeseen occurrence.”—Ecclesiastes 9:11.
Is Mike’s soul going through fiery purging in purgatory? No! According to the Bible, the dead are unconscious. “For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all. . . . All that your hand finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol [mankind’s common grave], the place to which you are going.”—Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10.
Will I ever see Mike again? Yes! I have that hope. The Bible promises that the vast majority of dead mankind will be brought back to enjoy life in a righteous new order of things right here on earth! Listen, Joan, to Jesus’ heartwarming words: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life.” (John 11:25) The apostle Paul similarly stated: “I have hope toward God, . . . that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) And in describing what conditions on earth will be like at that time Revelation 21:3, 4 says: “God . . . will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
When will this take place? Joan, I was thrilled to learn that the time is near at hand. The Bible clearly showed, long ago, that the worsening world conditions we see today would be proof that we are in the “last days” of this wicked system of things.—2 Timothy 3:1-5.
Now I have a different outlook on life. I’ve found the comfort I needed, and I feel that now I can help others who have lost a loved one in death. I can show them from the Bible where their loved ones are and that no harm is coming to them. I can share with them the wonderful hope of the resurrection. Yes, you too can have the joy of seeing your son again, and this time you will be together in peace and with no pain or sorrow ever again.
Joan, isn’t that something worth looking into? Why not look into the Bible and see if it brings you the comfort that I searched for and found? If you would like some help in understanding it, I will be glad to assist you.
I must close for now. If you find time, I would enjoy hearing from you.