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Why my mom?

How grief interferes with faith

Dear God,

On Dec. 13 at approximately 5 a.m., the jarring sound of my mother’s malfunctioning dialysis machine shattered the fragile peace that had settled over our lives. Confused and disoriented, I woke up to my mother’s empty bed. With panic setting in, I called out for my mother. Three times to be exact. Each fearful scream louder and more apprehensive than the last. The fear in my voice escalated with each desperate plea, but there was no response.

With a heart that felt increasingly heavy, I rushed downstairs to find her wheelchair abandoned. Running around the front yard crying, every “Mom, where are you?” that left my mouth, the realization hit me—I felt like a toddler lost in the park, far from safety, scared of what would happen next. In distress, I called my aunt. As I attempted to explain the situation, amidst hyperventilation, I took a deep breath and said, “I can’t find my-” but as I uttered those words, I walked behind the kitchen island and screamed the last “MOM!” I ever would.

Seeing that my pale almost blue mother has fallen to the ground, I cannot help but think Why God? Why have you let this happen?

I called 911. They were on their way and taking their sweet time getting there, too. God, why are they still not here yet? My pleas hang heavy into the air, as my scared dog pounces onto her with all his force. I think to myself, God, why is she not waking up? Mom, just wake up. I grabbed my mother’s hand. My mind going 1,000 miles a minute flat lines in an instant. She’s cold. God, why is she cold? Standing up to take a step back, I look at her and whisper to myself, “Oh God, she’s dead.” As I am sinking back into the stairs, paramedics have finally arrived.

Praying, begging and pleading, the elder paramedic interrupts to tell me what I had already known was coming.

“I’m sorry, but we did all we could,” he said.

Those eight words reverberate in my head until I see the black bag. God, please don’t let them get that bag. God, why are you letting them take her from me?

I pack what I can and drive an hour to my “new home.”

I pull over and pray, “Lord, wake me up. I don’t want to go without her. Lord, why couldn’t I have gotten to her sooner?”

Days go by and I still find myself feeling like that lost toddler at the park. I do not even find myself wanting to keep company with the Lord. As the pastor prays over our family during the closing of my mother’s funeral, I open my eyes and look at my mother. All I can think is, “screw this prayer.” This is the last time we will ever lay eyes on her, and we are wasting it praying to the God who took her from me? Suddenly, I break down screaming and crying in front of a town of people.

“I’m sorry for your loss. Your mother was a wonderful woman. We all loved her very much,” an elder lady from church said.

That’s exactly where the problem lies. Everyone else loved her, but I still love her. Looking at my mother as she is laying lifeless in her casket, I still love her, present tense. Not the past tense “loved” because I will never not love her. As more of the town’s elders pass by the most beautiful lost life, the words of sympathy feel like a broken record.

“The Lord has taken her home. She is in a better place now,” said every half-religious person in city limits.

Again, I can’t do anything more than disagree. She is not in a better place because this is the best place. My mom doesn’t want to die. My mom wants to walk me out on senior night. My mom wants to be at my wedding, meet my grandkids and see me be more than what I was when she left.

Proceeding the funeral parade, there goes her corpse into the ground and suddenly six feet has never felt so far. For months it felt like just me, a mound of dirt, some rotting flowers and her Murray State hoodie yelling at a God that I’m not sure I even believe in. Even if I do believe, he knows I’m not his biggest fan.

How can such a great God cause me so much pain? A great God wouldn’t make me the only one of my friends without their mom to look up to at graduation, or be the girl who’s moving into their freshman dorm without their parents. When you turn 18, your mother is supposed to give you a later curfew so you can go out with your friends. Correct me if I’m wrong, but no one is meant to spend their 18th birthday blowing off their friends to hang out in a cemetery. This must just be my punishment from God. If it’s not, how come it’s six months later and I still see the way she looked as I stepped away and recognized she was gone? God, what I would do to pay my tax and have my mother back. The punishment has gone too far.

Approaching two years since my mother passed, I have experienced healing only time alone could mend. Grief, and the trials you face with faith, after losing someone that makes everywhere feel like home is not something you overcome. I have not survived my grief. I’m still living through it. This time has given me the opportunity to get rid of spitefulness towards

Christ and the world I had, and rather be grateful for the remarkable 17 years the Lord gifted me with her.

As I move forward, I carry the love for my mother as a light, a testament to a bond unbroken even by the silence of six feet. When I long to call the woman who made everywhere feel like home, I instead call on God for guidance. When grief once made me feel angry with the Lord, it now shows me just how I need the Lord’s light within my life.

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About the Contributor
Laurel Brown

Laurel Brown is a sophomore from Cadiz, Kentucky, finishing her first semester at Campbellsville University. This is her first year reporting for The Campus Times.

She transferred from the University of Kentucky in the fall of 2023. She is a motivated dual major journalism and political science student with a minor in criminology.

Alongside her studies, Brown is an alum of Commonwealth Honors Academy, a current cheerleader for Campbellsville University, and the social media assistant at WLCU Studios. Brown was also a member of the social media committee and director of DEI for Alpha Gamma Delta and Panhellenic Council DEI representative at the University of Kentucky. While at UK, student Brown worked as a First Year Experience Ambassador, collaborating with UK marketing.

Brown’s hobbies include hanging out with her BEST FRIEND Nathan Whaley.

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