It’s been a year since Holly died. And my heart still hurts. I miss her so much.
The Sunday after she was gone, we went to church as usual, even though I didn’t want to get out of bed much less get dressed and go anywhere public. I had no interest in the service, the music, the sermon. Didn’t care. All I could think about was the grief that had invaded our lives.
Throughout the service, I prayed, as I had been doing since Holly died. It wasn’t an elaborate prayer. Nothing formal or fancy. Just, “Please give me some kind of hope that I’ll see her again.”
Now, I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes. And others of you are straightening your theological lapels and readying a rebuttal. And that’s fine. Just hear me out.
I grew up in the church. And I learned, as most do, that animals don’t go to heaven, because animals don’t have souls. How anyone can state this for fact, I have no idea. But that’s the stance I’ve always heard from pastors and others “in the know”.
Anyway, from the moment Holly died, I began to pray that I’d get to see her again. Usually my prayer goes something like: “When I die, please let Holly be there to meet me.”
There are two things I rarely talk about on here or with others: politics and faith. Though I have strong opinions on both, I’m not very vocal about either. I’m a peacemaker by nature, and would walk through a pit of snakes to avoid conflict. But here’s the thing: I believe in a loving, merciful God. And I think he revealed his love and mercy to me that Sunday after Holly died.
After the service, we went out to lunch at a sushi restaurant near our church. Over tempura veggies, I told my husband what I’d been thinking about and reading about animals and God and heaven. And I told him what I’d prayed.
At the end of our meal, our waiter brought us fortune cookies with our bill. We each chose one and opened them to read our fortunes, as we usually do. I took one look at my “fortune” and, stunned, I started to cry.
While my husband, son and daughter each had Confucius sayings, my fortune read: “Faith is the evidence of things unseen.”
Did God give me a nudge via a fortune cookie? Call me crazy, but I think he did.
Am I going to see my sweet Holly again? Call me crazy, but I believe I will.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)