In the following essay Tom Zuba– inspirational author, speaker, life coach, friend, and this week’s A2Z guest blogger- writes eloquently about the HIGHER POWER force of love, acceptance and healing that has accompanied him on his journey of living life with the deaths of his young son, daughter and wife.
by Tom Zuba
I still usually call it God. Although I always want to add something like, “Not the one who you think hates gay people and women who choose abortion. Or the one who only allows “followers of Jesus to enter the kingdom of heaven.” I have chosen to believe in a different God. A much bigger, expansion version. A loving God.
I don’t believe “it” a.k.a. God gives one hoot what we call him/her/it/they. Higher Power. The Universe. The All of the All. Nature. “The Force” for all the millions and millions of Star Wars fans. It’s all good in my God’s heart.
I’ve spend the last 26+ years of my life learning to live with the sudden death of my 18-month-old daughter Erin in 1990, the equally sudden death of my 43-year-old wife Trici in 1999, and the death-by-brain-cancer of my 13-year-old most amazing son Rory on February 22, 2005. In order to not only survive, literally, but to also co-create a full, joy-filled life for me and my now 21-year-old son Sean I have had to, and have been willing to, Question Everything. Everything.
And at the core. The very center. I have come to believe that ~ of all the questions that arise when someone you love dearly dies and you are trying to decide if you should kill yourself or live another moment, hour, day, week, month ~ the most important question is, “Is there a God?”
Is there a God?
And if your answer is “Yes.” No matter how feeble or strong that YES is. Then the next question is not so much “Who is God?” but the at-the-core-of-all-of-it question, “What is God?”
WHAT IS GOD?
Most people, I think, spend their entire lives without so much as pondering that fundamental question for a single second.
But when someone you love dearly dies. The gift, and it is a gift, of living with that death of your beloved (or three) is that you’ve been cracked open. Wide. The death of a beloved does that. In fact, it’s supposed to. Our loved ones’ death is our engraved invitation to become the person we were born to be. And in order to do that, we must decide what we believe. About the “G” word. About the Higher Power. The Force.
And I’ve chosen to believe. And it is indeed a choice. A choice that at first I made minute-by-minute, then hour-to-hour, than day-by-day. That God is love.
Over time and with a ton of work, I recognized/remembered/reconnected with/and reawakened the truth of Truth Itself, which is the thread of each of our very being, mine and yours ~ that the three most important words in the English language are the deceptively simple, yet oh so profoundly complex, “God is Love.”
GOD IS LOVE.
I have chosen to believe that God is Love.
And a total game-changer.
Especially after someone you love dearly has died.
I’m not talking about a limiting, limited human version of love. Not even our limited understanding of what we refer to as unconditional love. Not that. That is not what MY God is.
But rather my chosen version of WHAT God is, is an indescribable, yet-I’ll-try-to-describe-it-anyway, divine, all-powerful, all-encompassing, all-forgiving-always-for-everything-no-questions-asked-ever, warm, fuzzy, cozy, comforting, forever-safe, never-ending love kind of love. It’s all that multiplied by a zillion bazillion kinda love. Does that make sense? Can you close your eyes for a moment or three and allow yourself to feel what that kinda love could feel like?
I’ve also chosen to believe that my God does not allow any of us to die in the wrong way or at the wrong time. Not a one of us. Ever. We are loved that much.
My God does not “take people too soon.”
My God does not “cut lives short.”
My God does not “need another angel in heaven” nor pick and take “only the good ones.”
My God does not “save some of us from the evils of this world by ending our lives at a young age.”
My God does not answer some people’s prayers with a life-saving miracle and respond to others with a pretty brutal, “No, not this time, your beloved dies.”
That is not how my God works.
My God never, ever takes it’s eye off of me.
In fact, my God cradles me, lovingly every moment of every day. Divine love is like that. We are each being lovingly held. Always.
Life unfolds perfectly. In every moment.
Do I understand it? Hell no. I don’t get a lot of it. But I’ve chosen to the surrender to the mystery of all of it. And that creates peace. For me. Instead of pain. I’ve experienced enough pain for one lifetime.
Einstein said, “The most important decision we make is whether we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”
Tom Zuba says, “Life happens for us. Not to us. In every moment. And God is Love.”