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I Have Had Enough


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Friends,

I've had enough.

I've tried to be gentle. I've tried to be reasonable. I've watched Marty try to be gentle. I've watched Marty try to be reasonable. Now Walt has tried to be gentle and reasonable. After Marty's first effort, several people seconded her concerns--tried to be gentle--tried to be reasonable

I've had enough.

I have watched the departure of many of the friends I have made here in recent months. Perhaps other things have called them away. Perhaps they have reached the point they no longer need to be here--or maybe they have reached the point they can no longer bear to be here.

I've had enough.

Earlier today I posted a parable--a teaching story. Eighteen people have read it. Marty wrote to tell me she thought she got it. But the only public response chose to take it not as a parable but as a literal request for help with my house plants. I was tempted to sign off not with Peace, but with good-bye when I finished writing it. Perhaps I should have. Perhaps then people would have understood.

I have tried to be subtle. I have tried to be gentle. I have tried to be reasonable.

I've had enough.

I have no problem with Jesus Christ. As a Buddhist monk once said to me after reading Matthew, "That man is either close to enlightenment or enlightened." His words are beautiful words about peace and justice and love. It is a beautiful story about the equality of of all humans, the equality of the sexes (look at roles of Martha, and Mary and Mary Magdalene, among others, and how important and non-secondary they are in Matthew). It is a beautiful story of one man's quest for spiritual enlightenment with a central theme of "what I am you can attain as well." He does not claim to be the Son of God very often. Instead he calls himself "the son of man." And that emphasis is a powerful call to a spiritual reform that, alas, was never attained.

I have no problem with those who attempt to truly emulate Christ--who live their lives with love as the true basis of everything they do--who see that true vision of peace and justice and equality. Who understand that Christ's message is a revolutionary one that demands each of us attempt to stand on that cliff alone against the darkness--who try to be sons of men. I clasp those people to my heart as strongly as I do those who truly embrace and emulate the Buddha and Lao-tso and Gandhi--and the thousand others who were born in times and places where they were forgotten as soon as the bodies of their true disciples were cold.

But I do have a problem with those who profess to be Christians but see themselves as members of some secret elect who believe they know who is saved and who is not; who see a woman as someone to be brought before men like a piece of property to be accepted or rejected--to be bought or sold--as though god were some kind of dating service or pimp who exists to serve their needs; who "surrender" their control and responsibility to the deity as an act of free will that sets them free from the very path Christ asks them to follow.

And I do have a problem with those Christians who are so completely and thoroughly insensitive to those of other faiths and beliefs that they ignore the pain of those around them that their own words and actions create. I remember the persecution of the Jews that ended in Hitler's attempted genocide, but I also remember the genocides of the Jews that preceded it--and I will not forget that Hitler did those things "in Christ's name." I remember the conquistadors pouring molten gold down the throat of the Inca king, in the name of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I remember the Inquisition and the thumbscrews and the burning of Joan of Arc. I remember the slaughter of the Moslems in the Holy Land and the rape of their women in the name of the Merciful Christian God. I remember the murder of Thomas Moore by the Protestants and the towns their armies sacked and burned and the women they raped in the name of their version of the Christian God.

And I have heard the words of a woman in Florida--that on the Day of Judgement she, and the other elect, will choose who to raise and who to leave in death. I have heard a serious candidate for president of the United States say that the Freedom of Religion clause of the first amendment only applies to Christianity. And I have heard a former vice presidential candidate refer to her state as the last fortress of Christianity in the end times. I have heard supposed Christians talk about the infidel Moslems--about how only Christians should be allowed to vote; how homosexuality is a choice and how all homosexuals should be damned at best--and killed at worst--if they cannot be converted.

I came to this place to grieve--to share my grief with others who know the same emptiness and the same silence. I came to this place to find peace--not in another's religion--but in each other's hearts. I came to this place to remember my wife and the good that woman did while she was in the world. And for a time, this was that place.

It is no longer that place for too many of us. I can no longer read a thread without running into "Our Lord and Savior" and being reminded by that phrase of all the evil that has been done in that poor entity's name. And all the evil that seems likely to be done in his name in the future. This place that once brought me peace now increasingly only causes me pain. This place that once seemed filled with love and respect seems filled now with something entirely other.

My session today with the Dana-Farber online grief program talked about the need to ask directly for what one needs.

So let me be as blunt and direct as I can. I do not care what faith you profess elsewhere. Here, we are all human beings united by our grief. Check your religion, your smug attitude. and your intolerance of the beliefs of others at the door. Weep here, commiserate here, empathize here, rebuild your existence here. But at the same time, have a little sensitivity to what others are feeling--to what others believe.

Otherwise we risk destroying a truly beautiful and precious thing.

Finally, my apologies to those of you who are the backbone of this establishment. From what some of you have written I know you are Christians in the best sense of the word. You are as embarrassed and upset as I am by the things done in your faith's name both here and elsewhere. It is not my intent to impugn your faith or your beliefs. Some folks have crossed a line, however, and I owe it to you and to myself to try at least one more time to stop what seems to be happening to this community of souls.

Marty, if it seems to you I have gone too far with the above, delete any or all of it. You are the better judge at this stage.

Peace,

Harry

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Harry, I am not embarrassed by what's done in my faith's name. I practice my faith personally and don't have a hidden agenda when I do so. But I won't hesitate to mention how it helps with my particular grieving process. And each process is an individual experience. I am offended by some of the things I read, but don't stop reading and posting because of it. I don't agree with every lifestyle, religion or livelihood, but I am tolerant of differences. Of course, that is only my opinion, as is the case with posters who profess their religious beliefs. I would hope you don't leave because of this, because I'm sure you have wisdom to share that could potentially be helpful to another reader. However, if it is truly upsetting, I wish you well.

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OK, I will jump in here, Harry and all,...one more time. I have seldom joined in this forum recently because I do not want to get a sermon and judgment that is either subtle or direct...as a response to my post or to those anyone else makes. Somehow the place we were in a couple months ago has been lost to sermons and judgment. The simple compassion, simple loving supportive replies laden with understanding have become monopolized by the sermons of a small handful of members. I can get that kind of input everywhere else...including too many news programs.

What I loved about this forum was the non-judgment and the understanding I got when the grief of losing the love of my life was more than I could bear and when I needed mostly just to share that pain and feel accepted, understood and supported. I knew I could come here, when I could go nowhere else sometimes, and someone would reach out with non-judgment and support, acceptance and understanding. That seems to have gotten lost. That loss (in one or two topics) has been replaced with a judgmental energy, if not content, that has invaded and infiltrated and at the least colored most other topics that people bring up here. Even though Marty and now Harry and myself (in one of my earlier replies to Marty) and others have tried to move those responsible away from sermons, religious persuasion, judgment, non-acceptance, it seems that Dwayne and NATS mostly and a couple others are creating an atmosphere here that has made coming here an unpleasant experience instead of a healing one.

I would like to suggest, NATS and Dwayne, that you take your conversations about your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and your new found joy "because of Him" to private email.

The attitude in many of your posts is lacking compassion and needs to change before some of us who have strayed away feel good enough to return. Dominating this forum with posts that are in direct opposition to the purpose of the forum is just unfair to all. I am truly very happy you have both found whatever it is you found but you have forgotten and lost sight of why we are here. We are here because we hurt and up until recently we could come here, sometimes when no where else existed, for a bandage on our pain. I no longer experience that here because a few, seemingly led by NATS and Dwayne, have decided to color the atmosphere with sermons and "better than thou" attitudes and judgments. I doubted initially that you intend that but now I wonder. If you are no longer grieving and if you have found your peace and your joy maybe it is time to move on so that those of us in real pain can get back to what we came here for. Can I be any more blunt? Any more honest? The rest of us are in pain and in need of the support we once found here. I do not want YOUR solutions or judgments. I am quite capable of finding solutions. I came here for the understanding and acceptance and compassion I found here right after my Bill died.

I would like to see the return of what we had. Frankly, it feels like a rug has been pulled out from under me and I suspect others feel that way also...a loss on top of a loss....the place we had come to count on often or not so often...has been taken over by some who prefer to preach. I hope you will consider moving on and letting those of us who need each other for acceptance and support continue on our paths as we have been doing for a long time.

I guess that is about as blunt and honest as I can be. I tried being sensitive and gentle and kind. That failed. I won't walk away totally for a while as I feel a commitment to do my part to save what we had so others in the future can find it here also. I have been checking in and out for the past few weeks to see where this is going. Is it going to be a bad grief site as are so many out there or will it be what we all found here originally, that Marty has helped to gently and lovingly shape over time? I will watch and trust for a while and hope we get back on track. Otherwise, I will move on-along with many others who have disappeared.

I usually hate long posts and avoid reading them most of the time and apologize for the length of this one....just needed to say it all...once and for all.

I wish you peace,

Mary mfh

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All I have to say is, what I liked about this place when I joined is the non-judgmental approach. The fact that I was able to get responses of people in the same boat as I was, was comforting to me.

This forum is seen by many, as a place of refuge, you can find solace, and it somehow has helped us to get through the storms of life and the storms of grief.

I certainly understand people’s eagerness to share what works for them, and that is perfectly fine, but keeping in mind that each one of us is different, our grief is unique and each one of us, at our own pace need to find the best way to move forward, however that may be.

I as a Christian will always attempt to the best of my ability to not point fingers or be judgmental toward others, because that is not my place. I know I am not perfect, but I also know if there is one thing we all need is to feel loved, appreciated and be kind to each other.

The love I have received from God, I try to give to others. Isn’t that our command? Love thy neighbor as yourself. I don’t say this in a preachy way, I just bring this up, so that we all can take a deep breath and remember what makes this forum special: the love and non-judgmental approach. People need to know they are welcome. We all have grieved; we have that in common with one another.

We are in no place to judge others or come up with conclusions without knowing all the facts.

Let’s get back to basics and keep moving on our grief journey.

A hug for every one of you. We are in this club none of us chose to join, but here we are, going day by day and trying to understand the changes we go through because of grief.

Grief has taught me to be more understanding and compassionate of others who have suffered a loss. In that respect, let’s keep on doing that, new and old members here are in need of being understood. At least, I felt understood when I couldn’t make sense of what I was feeling.

Let’s all take a deep breath and move past this.

Much love,

-L

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