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(Blog) From the Pews: Lessons of Hope in Death

From the Pews offers members of the UCiM community an opportunity to share their own faith journeys, questions, challenges &/or doubts. We invite you to walk with our Brothers & Sisters & share your feedback and thoughts. And, should you be so moved & feel you too would like to contribute to this aspect of our ministry, please contact Dea. Richard! He would be excited to walk with you, & support your 500-800 word submission, which might include your own photo to accompany the blog and a brief 2-3 sentence description as to who you are!

Recently, a friend of mine has been going through a very difficult experience, the death of a parent.  Her mother has been ill for a long time, and has passed away after a long fight.  Talking to her through this time, has been sometimes really hard for me, as I went through a similar situation myself 4 years ago, when my mother passed away.  This time has brought back a lot of difficult memories for me, but has also provided me with many moments of reflection as well.

My mother was diagnosed with cancer in 1999.  She went through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This was a difficult time for our family as we were living in Thompson at the time and my mom had to come back and forth to Winnipeg for some of her treatment.  For a while my mom was better, but she was diagnosed again in 2004.  This time there was not the same kind of hope as the first, as she was told that her cancer was now terminal.  At the time of this happening, I was newly married and remember being told that my mother would not live to see my children born.  This was devastating to all the members of our family, but my mom was certainly not a quitter!  She spent the next four years battling and she did live to see her first grandchild born. Sadly, she lost her fight in 2008.  Being with my mom in her final days was a humbling, terrifying and life changing experience for me.  When my mom died, the predominant feeling I had was one of relief, her pain was finally over and I was reassured by the fact that I knew she had gone to a better place.  As time has gone by I have grieved for my mom, as her grandchildren have been born, as they grow up, as I go through difficult times and think “I wish my Mom was still here”  Now, I see my friend going through a similar difficult time, and I still have a hard time finding words that will be comforting.

These are the things I can say to my friend.  Please do not be afraid, God is with you, he is with your mother and he will not leave your side.  As you grieve, remember there is something better waiting for us at the end, something that will make all the tears and sadness in our time here on Earth worth going through.  In times of our life that are difficult, it is then that it can be the hardest to find faith and comfort in the Lord, but these are the times when we should be leaning on him the most, for he is the one who will comfort us when no one else can.  During this time, accept the help from those around you who are offering it, God has sent these people to you and no one has to go through this alone.  Take this time of mourning to remember the good in her life and celebrate the life that was lived, for God put us here to live on earth first and then go on to be with Him.

The death of a person we love is a traumatic thing for all of us, and we all grieve in our own unique ways.  But it can be an opportunity for us as well, an opportunity to take a sad, negative thing and grow into someone who is closer to God because of it.  And though the pain of losing a loved one never goes away entirely, I can say that it does get easier if you can get through one day at a time, remembering that God is with you.

Stacey Milne-Ciecko

I am a stay at home mom of 3 busy boys.
Reading is my favorite hobby, and reading with my kids is the best part of my day.
I spend most of my days just a little bit frazzled, but always try to keep smiling!

From the Pews blog


  1. Having Just gone through a weird experience myself, it is refreshing to see how God helps us pick up our spilled bucket of pieces though the hands of those around who care for us (even though sometimes it may feel smothering and humbling). I love your thoughts and reflections.Not having a mother to share the little daily joys and surprises of raising a young family with must really suck, sometimes. Keep up the excellent writing.

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