When my wife died after battling with cancer, it took me several years of ups and downs to finally accept the will of God and face the fact that she was gone. Looking back at my grief journey, I now realised that I had been in denial of my wife’s death for a long time.

I was working like a robot — existing aimlessly without a sense of purpose. I was angry with God for taking my wife away. I pleaded with Him to take me as well so that I could be with her in heaven.

I also sank into depression and made serious mistakes at work which resulted in contracts being lost. I was spiritually, emotionally and mentally drained, breathing and yet not alive.

One day, when I was experiencing tremendous pain thinking that I was at death’s door, God woke me up with a question: “Joe, as your loving Father, how do you think I am feeling seeing you in pain and wasting your life away?”

By God’s grace, my late wife also reached out to me with the same question: “Joe, as your beloved wife in heaven, how do you think I am feeling right now seeing you like this?”

I learnt to forgive myself and allowed God to forgive and heal me.

I finally realised the folly of wanting to die when God wanted me to live. I confessed my sin of committing spiritual suicide and asked God for forgiveness. I was truly sorry and asked for God’s grace and guidance for healing, and dismissing the thought of dying.

God led me to the Beginning Experience (BE), a ministry for single-again persons. At the BE Weekend, I learnt to overcome my feelings of guilt for asking my wife to go through the chemotherapy which caused her tremendous pain and suffering but which did not cure her.

I learnt to forgive myself and allowed God to forgive and heal me. With God’s healing, I am able to reach out to others who are also mourning the loss of a spouse.

This article is contributed by Beginning Experience Singapore and first published in Catholic News.
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Beginning Experience (BE) is a peer ministry to help grieving single-again persons move from the darkness of their grief into the light of a new beginning and renewed hope.

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