Thursday, March 10, 2011


I will apologize in advance for this somewhat heavy-handed, long post but here goes.

Mark used to get annoyed with my lax views on organized religion. I grew up in a household that didn't feel going to church was very important. Don't get me wrong, we were taught that God was important, but that there were other views and that we could choose whatever path we wanted. My father is an angry, lapsed Catholic and my mother is a Protestant. Neither me nor my sister were ever baptized. I personally believe that there is more than one way to look at God and how he wants us to live our lives. I believe there is a higher being but that maybe all the stories in the Bible are just that, stories.

Mark on the other hand comes from a pretty religious family. I'm not sure if his parents have ever missed a week of church in the almost 16 years I've known them. That includes vacations and sickness. Having a strong belief system, a Catholic belief system, was important to my husband.

That is until recently. I had noticed that we weren't going to church like we had before. We were pretty regular church-goers. We missed very few weekends and went to most of the holy day masses. But about 6 months ago, our church participation started to dwindle. I didn't think much of it, we are busy people with lots of obligations. Plus we went on vacation, had a wedding to go to, sickness spread around between one or all of us at different points.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. We had been thinking about trying out some different churches in our area. Ours just wasn't meshing with us for quite some time, so we went to a new church to see how their services ran. It was nice, not the most enlightening, religious experience, but nice. The church is beautiful, exactly what a church should look like, as opposed to our current church which is just a brick box. After mass, I asked Mark what he thought and he agreed it was nice and that we should try it out a few more times. The he said, "Maybe it will help me get out of my funk I'm in with God right now. I know a new church shouldn't change that but maybe it will." Now I'm not big on sharing every little emotional thing with people, but Mark likes to talk about stuff like this. And he never mentioned a funk. So when I asked him about it, his only comment was, " Well haven't you noticed we haven't been to church since Joe died?"
I had, I just didn't realize that was his problem. I wrote about Joe dying back when it happened, late September. I don't want to rehash it. It was awful. We had already had 5 or 6 people close to us die in the 6 or so weeks before that. Joe was young and happy and newly married and then he just died. And I was so so so mad at God for it. But Mark never got high or low about it. He wouldn't talk, which should have clued me in. Mark is not a baby but he never cried about it, while I wept and raged. People that were little more than acquaintances were seeing all of my feelings right on my face. Hugs being freely doled out because of my misery.
But now, my husband, who has always held God up on a pedestal, is starting to push Him away. And it hurts me beyond words because God was such an important part of what made Mark, Mark. While I never had the same feelings that he did, I know that going to church and learning some religion from his point of view helped me through some really tough times. I have watched my dad joke about how much religion and church is a waste of time, but also seeing that he doesn't really believe that deep down. I don't want my husband to become jaded by what he feels is an injustice. An injustice that he can't fix by yelling or writing a strongly worded letter to someone or get any kind of recompense.
How do I get him to talk to me when I have no idea what to do or say? I need some guidance and I have no clue who to talk to about it.

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