When Someone Close to You Suffers


For the past month, a very close family member of mine has suffered from a serious stroke with some other complications. From my perspective it looks like such a hard journey for them—to go through stages of various forms of incapacity, pain, sickness, immobility and other things.


For me, I can’t imagine what they are going through, even though I try to empathize. How would I feel if I could only use half of my body; if I were dependent on other people for everyday tasks? Every day I visit, I try to bring dignity and respect into the room—to show my loved one that no matter what they may feel, they are still themselves and worthwhile and loved.


It’s been hard for me to think about anything else this past month. That’s why I haven’t written any posts. I’ve been asking myself, and questioning God, with some serious things. “Why does my loved one have to suffer so much?” and similarly, “If God has a plan for everyone, why do those plans include so much pain for some people?,” and lastly, “Where is God when good people suffer?”


I’ve asked a few friends those questions, and have been asked those questions by people as well. I am generally met with cliché and canned responses that do nothing to ease the pain, like “We will find out when we get to heaven.” And when I am asked, I find that I have no answers. It’s hard to keep the faith when you are grappling with such things.


But yet, I grapple. And I am asking you, readers, for your thoughts on suffering. Do you have any answers?


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