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Question 100.

I am deeply depressed. I lost my father suddenly through an aneurysm 4 months ago. He was only 60yrs old. He didn't take me to the church neither did he see any grandchildren, I am 33yrs old and I beseeched God to send me a good man so that I could have a family, but instead he took away my beloved father while all the girls have their husbands, children and parents, I am unhappy. I wonder can my father see me? How can I help him? Please remember him during the Liturgy. Please reply to my email, I am extremely sad.


Answer to Question 100.

Dear N,

My deepest condolences for the loss of your father. The pain and anger at the death of a beloved person is indeed very difficult to overcome and also difficult for others to give you words of comfort. From what you say God is to blame for everything, but it is not so. God is only love and life and does not send diseases and is not responsible for the death of anyone. God created man to live eternal life with him, but we humans, with our free will, chose to distance ourselves from God and thereby illnesses and death entered into our lives. Of course life does not stop with the death of the body, man is body and soul and the soul continues to live eternally. This should give us comfort, because it gives us hope that we will again see our loved ones and that we also will live eternally.

You ask how you can help your father: we do not know much about life after death except for the little information Christ tells us in the Gospels. The Gospels talk about heaven and hell, but that does not mean that they are places like London and Athens. They are rather conditions of the soul. As I have already said, God is love and does not send anyone to a place of suffering, we are responsible for our condition while we are still in this life. In other words, if in this life we want to live with God in our lives then we will want to be close to God in the next life and this is paradise. On the other hand, if in this world we live a life distant from God we will not want to be with him either in the other life and this is hell. God respects our free will and can not force us to be with him if we do not want it. As Christians we believe that all members of the Church want to be close to the light of God  and so we pray for God's  mercy to forgive them their every sin voluntary or involuntary and to give them rest in the place where the saints repose. All you can do therefore is to remember him and pray for him every day and to observe his memorial services in church.

As for your own life, as I do not know you personally I cannot advise you what to do. Continue to beseech God to send you a good man, but do not stay at home waiting and hoping that he will knock on your door and tell you that God sent him. Not so long ago it was much easier to find a spouse because parents took care to match-make for their children. It was a good way to meet someone, and I with my wife had such an acquaintance and we are happily married 23 years. Today children insist in finding their life companion by themselves, but to do so one needs to have a social life and to make acquaintances. By today's standards at 33 years you are not very old and are in fact you are at the age that most people get married. Give yourself opportunities to meet people and be sure that somewhere there is a man for you who will make you happy.


With love in Christ

Fr. Christopher