Category Archives: Suffering

I Do NOT Accept the Terms and Conditions -4 Years Later Part 2

(On November 21, 2012 my mother, Angela Griego passed away. She had a long fought battle with breast cancer. These posts are reflections and honest emotions that I have felt over the past 4 years.)

Denial was my friend, my badge, my shield when my mom first got sick. I knew the situation was serious but accepting and knowing are two different things. In my mind there would always be “another treatment method” for her to go with. I could not imagine losing her so soon, it had to be in a far off distant future. So for me denial was the pace I lived. I would pray and I would hope that she would get better, but at the same time the reality facing her was something I refused to accept.

I still do not know how to accept this reality. I have learned to live in it, but I do not want to accept it. How does someone accept that a person they loved so much, a person that was so close to them, that they would call almost everyday was no longer there. How do you accept that your mother is going to get ravaged by a disgusting disease that will not stop and that who’s only medicine is a poison yourself to try to poison it. How do you cope with such pain, such reality?

I knew the “christian” answer, and understood, at least, the concept that God is sovereign and in control. How does one though accept the reality that this is “His will” for someone you love so much? How do you not want to yell, scream and fight against this reality?

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane asked God to remove this cup of suffering, the pain, agony and darkness He was about to face. He did say “not my will, but yours”, and he went, he died, he knew why, he knew the outcome, and he had a resurrection. My mom prayed similarly, and she died, she will have a resurrection and we wait, but to what purpose was her death. Jesus died for sin, my mom? She died for….

Maybe the answer is not to accept, but to hope defiantly against the darkness. Maybe we are not supposed to just click the “I accept the terms and conditions” button on life’s sufferings, Perhaps we are to rage, to shout into the darkness, to yell that we do not get it, but we wait. Not because we want to know now, but because we hurt now.

I know the reality, that my mom is not here now with us. That I cannot call her and ask her so many normal everyday questions I have. I know that Angelina will not meet her here and now, and that for my other kids Nana is a memory becoming more distant by the day. I know she died and breathed her last, I was there when she did. I do not accept this though, I do not welcome this, I yell in the darkness saying , this is not how it will end, this is not how the story goes. I yell my confusion, my pain, my anguish at times, and in that yelling, there is hope. Hope that this is not the end, this is not how the story goes, that this is just intermission for her, for us, and one day we will see the ending, and it will be something not just to accept, but to embrace.

4 Years of Questions, Prayers and More Questions

On November 20th, 2012 my mother passed away after a long fight with breast cancer. This fight had been her second go around against cancer. She originally was diagnosed with it in 1999. After several rounds of chemo the cancer had gone into remission. In 2009 it had returned, only this time it spread to many areas of her body. In the summer of 2012 after many treatments along with ups and downs it was determined that the we had run out of treatment options. 5 months later my mother passed away.

4 years seems like a long time. 4 years seems like a blink of an eye. All of it depends on perspective.

I have faced darkness, depression, pain, questions, suffocating doubt and anger. I have felt joy, comfort, relief and hope. There are no stages to this type of grief, well if there are stages I have really messed them up.

So in an effort to talk about this, and maybe help someone going through anything similar, I want to share some of my journey. It will be raw, it will be honest, and a times may seem really sad, but that is what these past four years have felt like. There is also hope, but hope, I realize, only exists because pain, darkness and despair do too.

I remember about a month after my mom past away I told people “It does not get better, it is just a new normal”,  so what I will be writing this month will be a bit of a look into some of the realities of this “new normal”.


Forgotten Foundation

 Micah 6:8 (ESV) 8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

One of the things that gets me fired up with excitement is when Christians do something, when they go on mission to care and love as we’ve been cared and loved by our Great God. Some guys from Albuquerque and a couple that go to Desert Springs Church have started The Forgotten Foundation. These were not guys that wanted to be “radical”, but instead saw that loving like Jesus is done in both word and deed, something they are doing in Burma.

It may be easy to dismiss these guys, as so many who get constipated with their theology can do, but if you do think these are just some social justice young adults, let me ask you this, what are you doing? Not what books on mission or social ills are you reading, but what are you actually doing to love the poor, oppressed and broken? How are you bringing the gospel to those, just preaching? Or are you actually loving and caring, and thus giving your preaching some weight behind it?

These are questions we must wrestle with, I must wrestle with, but in the end, we have to ask, what are we actually doing?

These guys are doing something great, and for that I thank God for The Forgotten Foundation!

Click here to learn more, and check out the movie below about their vision and heart behind what they do, and take some time to pray for them.