The View On Religion, From The After- Part Two

by Lori Dwyer on August 30, 2011 · 33 comments

This is Part Two. In case you missed it, Part One is here.

I get the feeling this one might be a disappointment and an anti-climax for some people. I apoligise. But this is truth, and truth is fluid. I’ll keep you updated.


To be honest, I’m really not sure about God anymore. And I’m unsure about being unsure.

If that makes no sense, go back and read this post. I firmly believed in a Something, but not in any organised religion.

I’m not even sure if I believe in a Something anymore.

While Tony was in the ICU, I prayed. I had hundreds, thousands of people praying for me and for Tony, through my blog and Twitter. I visited the hospital chapel every day, gave myself to God and Jesus, sobbed and begged and thought I felt some divine strength within me.

As I said, I’m far too angry to give any higher power credit for that strength. That was me. I was alone. If God exists, I shouldn’t have had to look so hard for him. If I was prepared to give up, give in to him…. why couldn’t he do the same for me?

It’s difficult, when you have little faith to begin with, to maintain it, when such desperate prayers go unanswered.

I remember, the day after Tony died, there was a hashtag trending on Twitter- #Godmakesnomistakes- in hindsight, it was probably something Gaga. But I can’t describe how angry I felt, how cheated I felt, glancing at thousands of Tweets, proclaiming that sentiment. God had just made a fucking huge mistake. And I was the one paying for it.

These days, God and I… we’re not on very good terms. If he exists at all-which is, in my mind, very, very much in doubt- he is laughing at me. Fucking with me.

I asked for strength, if that was all he could give me. And I got it. But that still feels like a cheat, when he could have given me so much more.

I always believed God was inherently kind.

Now, I’m not nearly so sure.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Bambi Kay September 6, 2011 at 9:24 pm


One of the things that moved me so, so much was when you asked for a priest to come and perform the last rites for your beloved. I believe with all my heart that God connected with Tony, at that place and time. I believe that you were divinely led to do that.

I believe that your pain and your journey towards healing is going to bring healing to many people not just in Australia, but all over the world. I believe that you will be an agent of change to speak out against suicide and the pain that is caused to those left behind. I believe that your story is going to bring hope, strength and courage to many. Yes, like someone wrote earlier, "beauty for ashes".

I live in a far away place in the Northeastern part of India, in a place called Nagaland. Your life has touched my heart more than you ever know. I have in the past, struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts; struggled with my faith and my own relationship with God – being unable to accept His unconditional love for me. Reading your blog has spoken to me so much, especially about how it can devastate the loved ones you leave behind. Thank you for your courage.

I found your blog yesterday, through the article on And ever since then, I have been holding you and your kids in my heart and my prayers, especially you little boy. I too, have a 3 year old son, and so, to think of what your little one is going through, just breaks my heart. And last night as I tucked my little one into bed last night with a prayer, I also whispered a prayer to God for your little boy, that God would hold him and comfort him. I will continue to do so.

You are an inspiration. It saddened me to read that some people have turned against you for writing about Tony the way you did. To me, you have treated his memory with the most love and dignity, while speaking the truth about his death. I wish many more would speak out. Only then, can we start living.

Keep holding on. My thought and prayers will be with you.

Love and blessings.


Michael Andrews September 6, 2011 at 8:59 am

From what I have seen, felt and heard as a man in my 57 years on earth, all our trials of strength could be eased by listening to the voices of women. You are far more sensitive, loving and supportive, and far less judgemental than we are. My heart aches for you and your children. If there is any spirit of any divine presence whatsoever in the world, it burns in the souls of all the women of the world.


Shellye September 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm

P.S.: I wasn't disappointed. I completely understand. I've been there too.


Shellye September 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Lori, I'm praying for you.

I wish I had some words of comfort to share with you, but I'm at a loss. What I can tell you is that the reason bad things happen to good people is because we live in a world where evil is the standard.

Happy Child Guide said " He has a plan. He loves you and He will continue helping you through this and all things…" Happy Child Guide is correct.


Jodie Ansted September 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Just after Tony died, I wrote a post for you.

Here's what I believe.

I do believe in God. That doesn't mean I understand WHY some things happen, or don't happen. At the time, after everyone prayed for a miracle for Tony, I chose to believe (and still believe) that even tho the miracle to keep Tony alive didn't occur, perhaps the miracle was that he opened his eyes that last time, and you were able to speak to him? I hope it doesn't upset you for me to write that, but that's how I see it.

God gave us free will. Which obviously means, we can make decisions for ourselves. Just like Tony did that terrible day in January. Perhaps God can't reverse certain situations, but he can give us something to let us know he's still there? ie, Tony waking up

In the post I wrote for you, I wrote about the poem Footsteps. These lines from the poem, I think expresses what I'm trying to say:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
 you, you'd walk with me all the way. 

But I have noticed that during the most 
troublesome times in my life, 
there is only one set of footprints.

I don't understand why when 
I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child, 
I love you and I would never leave you.

During your times of trial and suffering, 
when you see only one set of footprints,

it was then that I carried you."



B September 1, 2011 at 8:46 am

I try to think of God as "universal", not a deity or a being. I was taught Catholic scriptures, I received my First Holy Communion etc, but I drifted away from the church due to its hellfire & damnation attitude and its stance on homosexuality. If we were all made "in God's own image", then that includes homosexuals too.

I'm still trying to find my own definition of God and what role s/he plays.


Kelloggsville September 1, 2011 at 8:10 am

not having prayers answered is the hardest thing of all to align to faith. I have prayed for one thing over and over and over and it never happens and my faith often wobbles. I do think that questioning faith is good and right and if you come out with any at the end of the wobbles and the questions then it is sat on more solid ground. The good thing about faith is that if you choose to go back to it, it's ok, you can and it doesn't matter if the doubt lasted for a longtime, it'll still be there waiting if you want it. If you don't, that's ok too xx I take a lot of comfort from the parts of the bible that comfort me but I think there is a lot of nonsense wrapped up in religon and a lot of people keen to force it down your throat. Feel your own way, your own journey, your own understanding. xxx


Anonymous September 1, 2011 at 6:24 am

Why is your husband's choice to die God's fault? God's people are given free will. We can do whatever we want to harm ourselves or others. God wants us to CHOOSE Him and that is not possible if He makes the choice for us.

God was with you in that chapel and God was your strength. However, He doesn't need to take credit but I know it was him.

I think if you went to bible studies or even read the bible yourself you would see His wisdom and you would think differently.

Your two part blog about religion/God remind me of a child that doesn't know any better. That makes me sad that you don't know God enough to know He cries for you every second of your life because of the pain you feel.

God bless you and I hope you one day see what I see.


Melissa August 31, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Oh Lori, I feel just the same way. I wish I could say something different – butI just can't reconcile a kind, loving God with my own life experiences and the experiences of those I know and love.
In my darkest times – when I prayed desperately, I just felt nothing – and the sad answer to my prayers was "No" It's nice to know I'm not alone – I sort of felt like a failure because I couldn't keep my faith in the face of my losses.


Lynda Halliger-Otvos August 31, 2011 at 5:17 pm

We can depend on ourselves and our own abilities to get us thru life. When we screw it up, we can take corrective action to make it right.

Be your own advocate; study hard and make good decisions for you and the kids.


Tammiodo August 31, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I think that faith is whatever gets you through. It's not necessarily about there being a God, it's not necessarily about there not being a god. It's just about whatever gets you through.

So much of religion and faith and how it is perceived comes down to individuals and how they behave, and unfortunately, what they preach. Everything is open to interpretation, and unfortunately some people interpret rigidity, inflexibility, judgement and certain "morals" as faith. They're welcome to that, but I can't imagine it being much comfort to many in your situation.

Lori, I hope that you find your faith, whether it be in God, or just in life itself, and I hope it helps you through.


Annabellz August 31, 2011 at 10:01 am

This is hard… I don't want to be one of those "God has a plan people" because it doesn't feel right to me… I don't know that plan is the way to go about things. maybe some people get the "plan" or it gives them hope so i can accept that.

The one thing I did hear though that helped me at one time when I was in a living hell was "God cried along with you…" I pictured God having given us all a free will… letting his children be (as a parent I can grasp that concept… kills me emotionally sometimes to watch my kids "learn"… i'm the mother of older children so I get it)… that helped. I can't tell you how that helped. Tony was his kid. He had to let that go as a parent. Life wasn't created to be miserable… we all get wrapped up in misery and some don't survive it. I do believe in God… I feel compassion and love coming from all around when I'm open to God/Higher Power but I often wonder WTF was that all about? It's fluid as you said. Unfortunatly some Pious assholes who preach "god or God" are very misleading.

I was not disappointed in what you said because your honestly points out that you are living the truth and striving to find a deeper meaning to life as it is now even when it hurts badly and that's wonderful!


Trisha August 31, 2011 at 1:07 am


I think uncertainty is a natural and healthy reaction to what you have been through.

Personally, I do believe in a higher power…I don't think that this power takes an active role in our lives and has control, I think we do.

The experience that you had with those ladies in the chapel that was real.

One day again I hope you experience the kindness of the universe…but I can understand how you feel that God is mocking you and making fun of you.

I wish you strength Lori.



Baggage August 30, 2011 at 11:35 pm

The whole "God has a plan" thing is the reason I'm not a Christian. People tell me that all the time, about my own abuse, about my children's abuse, their adoption. That God planned for them to be with me. So wait. He let them be abused, put into foster care etc, as part of a big plan? Why didn't he just give me them in the first place? Why put us through all that? If that was his plan, I think it sucked. That all being said, I wish I did believe sometimes. I am sure it would bring me some peace.


Susan, Mum to Molly August 30, 2011 at 8:49 pm

Our views on religion are similar… IF God exists, I am very very angry with him/her – with good reason IMO.

Shortly after my baby daughter's massive head trauma a relative gave me a book called "When God is Silent"…

I look forward to burning it one day. The book I need would be entitled: When God is an asshole.


Veggie Mama August 30, 2011 at 8:16 pm

You don't need god to be strong x


Jess Newman August 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm

I dont just believe in God, but I believe in the power of human choice, and that not only does God give that, but He respects it. I think that there are sometimes God can't do anything, because we have chosen not to let Him.

I'd disagree with you in your strength. I think that was God. I think He was there with you in your pain, and your trial, I totally believes He stands with you now, and I know that He is watching over you and your little ones every moment of every day. Sometimes we struggle to see God, but He is evidenced in everything around us, and particularly in the beautiful innocence of our babies.

This was not part of God's plan. Death is never part of God's plan. I would slap the Christians who tell you that, cause they have never read their Bible. This was something that happened because it happened. But the difference is that God can make beauty from Ashes.
Spring is coming Lori.

Big hugs xxx


Zoey @ Good Goog August 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I've always been the same, I believe in something – just not sure what it is, and definitely not organised religion. And although I think if I was in your shoes I'd feel pretty much the same way too – I always thought that the concept of prayer was not that it changes God or God's plan but it changes you.

I don't know. I lost my faith once. And it was like a death. You never really get it back. Because there's nothing concrete about it. It's like falling in love, it just is. It's just there with no rhyme or reason. And maybe when you lose it, it's gone forever.


T August 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm

All I can say is ditto. You have far more eloquently than I ever could explained my feelings towards a greater power. I'm at 13 years since my daughter died and it hasn't changed. I screamed, begged, pleaded gave it all to God, but found any idea of an organised religion to be sadly lacking. I could never believe that a tiny baby suffering so much could ever be part of a "God's" plan. I also hate "everything happens for a reason", it doesn't, shit just happens. There is NEVER a reason good enough to put a little baby through that.

Hugs Lori


Lirio Jaguar August 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I just don't talk about God with the kids. I don't want them thinking they can defer decisions to an 'idea', or ascribe blame (which my son has already done twice, based on some half-cocked explanations from my mum) for their actions. Everything they need is IN them, and I can help them discover their survival and thriving tools. God is a hook some people like to hang their coat on.
You are bigger than prescriptive ideas of being 'looked after' by a grand plan, and all-seeing male definer and architect of your life. We all are. Some of us just realise it and grasp the freedom of that realisation.


Sophie August 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Yes, I've been here too. I don't think God is in any kind of control… and that kind of makes him pointless… And if he is in control, he's a prick.

I told doorknocking Jehovahs once that if I were going to find God, I'd have done so in that first full year of grief. Didn't happen.

Whether he exists or not, in many ways he feels irellevant. I WISH I had the kind of faith to find meaning in all of this, but it's just not there.

Much love to you Lori. Grief is about being honest about everything, even if that makes other people uncomfortable.



Jennifer August 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm

God is fictional. People believe in him because they're scared not to – but desperately wanting a thing to be true does not make it so. It is possible to know this and still find joy in the world though… wishing you all the best.


Miss Pink August 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Love you xx


Melissa August 30, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I can understand why you feel that way, Lori. You're certainly entitled to go through those feelings.

My beliefs are irrelevant here. All that matters is you. I hope one day that you feel differently. But not becuase I want to 'convert' you (not that I ever discuss my religious beliefs online anyway), but because I wish comfort from you, from ANY source.

My love to you, as always.


Crystal August 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm

I love, love, LOVE your honesty as always, Lori. I can definitely understand why you've taken the position you have, as I've done it myself. All the best, as ever. :-)


Watercolor August 30, 2011 at 10:55 am

I don't believe in all the plan crap. I do believe in God, but I don't think God is actively involved in the world. At all. We just run according to what got set in motion and our own free will. Which is either more comforting or not any comfort at all depending on the day. God must be off making a new world some where, I guess.


Squiggly Rainbow August 30, 2011 at 10:00 am

Lori, with different experiences in my life (depression, child abuse, neglect, abandonment) – although these things still happened to me and I wondered how God could let me go through these things – once I listened with peace – I could see how He never left me. There are humanistic, worldly choices that we make as people that God allows us to take, to do. There are real consequences for actions, He is always there as hard as it is for us to believe and feel. The thing I have learnt is that the world's natural realm is alongside the spiritual realm – fine lines, thin threads – something I find hard to fathom. Probably not much help – just my thoughts xx Rach


alison@thisbloominglife August 30, 2011 at 9:28 am

You've verbalised the gap between religion and god (or whoever). The cathoholics (intentional mispelling) are so good at being hyprocritical and judgemental. They are not God (or whoever). I believe when I am happy or raw. Hymns always make me cry. BUT without that thing they call faith, how could you believe at the moment? Thanks for the honesty (again).


Eccles August 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm

This comment has been removed by the author.


Toni August 30, 2011 at 11:15 am

Lori, this is something I still battle with.

I do believe in God, but I don't think all the platitudes people trot out are right.
'God has a Plan' or 'He won't give you anything you can't bear' — crap. I think they're just things people say to make themselves feel better.

I think a lot of stuff just happens and there's no rhyme or reason to it.

Looking for reasons is one of the things we do when something tragic happens, and it's beyond frustrating when we can't find any purpose to it all. Anger is a normal reaction to that, and it's something that you'll work through.

Blaming God, or a Higher Power, is another perfectly normal thing to do, and it's also a healing thing to work through. Faith is a journey, and sometimes it's one where you need to take a break at the side of the road.


Elphaba August 30, 2011 at 9:56 am

God doesn't exist. I figured that one out a while ago after having to walk through my own fire. Coming to that decision brought me a whole lot of peace.


OurGangof7 August 30, 2011 at 9:32 am

Lori I know what you mean. I always thought there was "something" there. Never having been a church goer didn't mean I didn't have some belief of a sort. That was until I lost my firstborn son to a heart defect. If there was a God how on earth could He take my baby at just 10 days old, that isn't right or fair. Since then I haven't believed in anything. People told me "These things happen for a reason"…..well 17 years later, I'm still looking for that reason. I know it sure as hell didn't make me a stronger person, just a more scared person I think.


Happy Child Guide August 30, 2011 at 9:21 am

Even though it feels like feels like a hideously bad one to you right now, He has a plan. He loves you and He will continue helping you through this and all things, always. *hugs*


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