This I Believe

Doug - Jacksonville, Florida
Entered on November 23, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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THIS I BELIEVE I believe that death cannot be the end but is a new beginning. As a Catholic, I was taught that with death there is the hope of eternal salvation. However, the unexpected death of a loved one shakes this belief to the core. I believe that without faith it would be impossible to continue. Recently, my younger brother died of a rare cancer. He left behind a beautiful family. He had two wonderful young children who did not deserve to lose a loving and devoted father. He had a wonderful wife who was always there for him. He had friends who deeply cared about and for him. His death does not just seem unfair, it is unfair. It is unfair to every one that loved and cared about him. I don’t know why God decided that now was his time. Watching my brother die was the most difficult thing that I have ever had to go through. However, it is nothing compared to watching my brother and my sister-in-law deal with death. Right up until the end they had hope that a miracle could happen. They never lost faith even when the doctors said it was hopeless. When the end became inevitable, it was almost impossibly hard to say goodbye. I told him that I loved him and would hopefully see him again.

After he died I was angry and confused about why God had allowed this to happen. I questioned everything that I had been taught and believed. I was angry not just because I had lost my brother to a horrible disease. I was angry because God had allowed two innocent and beautiful children to grow up without their dad. I kept asking “why”. Many well meaning people offered their condolences and said that you have to have “faith”. Some people said it was fate or destiny. It made me question my mortality. I began to wonder about my life. Had I made the most of it. I worried about my family. Would a similar “fate” befall any of them. I thought about friends that I had lost under similar circumstances. I now understood what it must have been like for them. I came to appreciate their strength and courage under what must have seemed to be unbearable circumstances. I know that their loses still hurt.

I thought about my beliefs and faith. I know that faith is not a rational belief. It is the belief in things that I cannot comprehend. I believe that it is important to have faith because without it there is no future to look forward to. I do not believe in faith because I was raised Catholic. I believe because without faith there would be no reason to continue. I believe that death is a new beginning and not the end. Yes, my brother’s life in this world has ended but I believe that he has begun a new life with God. I believe that his family will remember how their father loved them and begin their new life without him. I know that it will be incredibly difficult. I have faith that God and the people who loved him will help his family through their sorrow and give them strength to continue. I know that the world was a better place with him and he will be missed by many people, especially me. I will never forget him. This is my faith. This I believe.