“Do you pray?,” he asked her softly.
“I can’t,” she said, “I just can’t. I hate God. How could he do this?”
“Praying is nearly impossible when we are in shock and disbelief from a loss like yours,” David said.
“I used to pray,” she said, “but a lot of good it’s done me.”
Laurie had just lost her baby girl, Julia, who had been hit and killed by a car right it front of their house. Julia had darted into the road after a ball and not looked and the car had no time to stop, plowed right into her and tossed her 50 feet her little neck broken with blood coming from her right ear and her mouth. Laurie couldn’t get the image out her head.
David was Laurie’s neighbor from across the street. He had seen the whole thing. He wasn’t sure how to comfort Laurie or anyone in the midst of a tragedy like this. It seemed to him that it’s the time that people, in their suffering, ask WHY? In their shock, disbelieve, fear, and anger they want to blame someone. Why not God, the mover and shaker of the universe whom we have been taught makes all things possible and has a plan even if we don’t know what it is, and then tragedy strikes and none of the myths we have been taught and we have listened to, and told ourselves we should believe, make sense. So in our pain we blame God and then feel guilty and on top of everything else tell ourselves must be a terrible person to blame God, but who else? Who else is responsible for a thing like this happening?
The driver of the car, of course, but she didn’t have a chance. Who could anticipate that a child would dart into the path of an oncoming car. Can’t blame her. The cops didn’t. She didn’t get a ticket. She was driving the speed limit, was sober, just driving down the street going home with her groceries. You could blame Julia, but how do you blame the victim, the child you loved so fiercely. You could blame yourself for not providing enough supervision or training her well enough or for letting her play in the front yard at all.
Laurie was really scared of what Steve would say when he found out. Steve and she had been divorced for 2 years now and they had fought over primary residence. She had won. They were barely civil, but the joint custody was working okay.
Laurie’s mother would be devastated. Laurie had finally done something right that her mother approved of when she provided Martha with a granddaughter to dote on. Other than her drinking, Martha had been a great grandmother. Laurie didn’t like to leave Julia with her more than a couple of hours because her mother would get into the wine and then Laurie worried about her alertness in caring for Julia. Now look at what’s happened. Maybe Julia would have been better off with Martha even with her drinking problem than she has been under Laurie’s watch.
Rev. Moran had called and asked if he could stop over. He wanted to make a condolence call, but also there might be funeral arrangements to be made. Laurie had been taking Julia to a Unitarian Universalist church for the last year and didn’t even know if UUs believed in heaven. Where was her precious daughter now? What would Rev Moran tell her if she was brave enough to ask?