I am not a churchgoing person. Throughout my life I have gone to church at times when I felt I needed a little support or maybe time to reflect. Last week I talked with the priest who had been with me in the first year after my sister died when I was a student at Ball State. He commented that I’m the type of person who feels a sense of spirituality no matter where I’m at; I don’t need to be in church.


This year for Lent, I wanted to do something that would ultimately make me a better person, so I gave up worrying about things I can’t control. As you can imagine, this has been easier said than done! Part of the deal I made with myself was that I would go to church weekly again because maybe I would feel or hear something to inspire me.


A weekend ago, I switched churches because I was feeling rather uninspired at my parish church, the same one I was married in almost twelve years ago. A friend suggested another church, one run by Jesuits, so off I went. I found I did like it better and I had an experience that I don’t think I’ve ever had in my almost forty years of life. I heard in the homily words that resonated with me.


I should have known I was in for something good when I saw the priest wearing a headset as he walked down the aisle to begin Mass. In his sermon, he discussed the experience of life after death, how we question it, how if we didn’t question it, he would wonder if we were human. But he added that ultimately life after death is very different than the life we have here or we wouldn’t have questions. He then went on to say that we have things to look forward to in our growth as people, even beyond this physical life, and things we don’t understand.


That I really appreciated (I even took notes on the church bulletin) because, to me, life (this life, that life, or whatever life) is about continued to growth. I am not one who sits around and thinks about my life after death, it’s only important to me in terms of my family members who have died and their continued to connection to me.  


Michelle Linn-Gust, Ph.D., is an international author and speaker about finding hope after loss and change. She is the author of several books including Rocky Roads: The Journeys of Families through Suicide Grief and Ginger's Gift: Hope and Healing Through Dog Companionship. Her first book, based on the suicide of her younger sister Denise, Do They Have Bad Days in Heaven? Surviving the Suicide Loss of a Si..., inspired siblings around the world in their survival after a loved one’s suicide. She is the President of the American Association of Suicidology and lives in Albuquerque, N.M. Read more about Michelle at www.michellelinngust.com.

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Comment by River of Tears on April 22, 2011 at 6:22am

Dear Michelle ,

Just came across your blog as it is titled  " Words that resonated with me "  this is did in just reading what you wrote . It was compelling in way of searching as I am now as life has changed so greatly after the death of my family so insight to so many things .  One of which does fall in the   Spiritual and Religions as often as you may think you walk through life with a belief or not you may find at times what ever they may be that it may be changed and you will see things differently or just need something more that offers what you may need or seeking per say .  As many may just stick to the same as though to think it is against some unwritten law to change  .. Rather as you you knew with in yourself that you seeking something different .   If only more would not know that this is what life is about . It is not being stagnant just because .    As I have been approached by some who choice to want to speak what is their belief is and what it is for everyone this was one of dismay especially right after my family passed . As it was something that I have carried in my heart and had to work through to find and seek answers of how one may want to say or do what they do . Well the conclusion was that it was more of what it is that I want or need .   This is why maybe this world is full of so many views religions and faith . What it truly comes down does it not what you feel in your heart .   This is the beauty of it all yet it is also the struggle for those who want to tell all that there is only one way . Well for me as you I rather go with my heart and feel and hear a message rather then just be told what it is that I am to be or know . For me if you do not feel apart of it then how will you ever become apart of what the message is .   For some maybe they don't want to and this is fine to . For me I rather know that life is there for all and what we can learn and appreciate around us and what we are offered to hear in our hearts this is what may be what we need at that time .  Who is to say .  just another gal walking this earth trying to seek answers in a time that stopped for a family but or her she will want to know more then someone wants to tell her that she is or is not .     I think to trust what you feel deep inside of what you hear what ever it may be this may be what you message was to be at that time .   


Thank you  for your insight 


Continued journey to all in grace and in peace where ever you may find that .




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