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When I Lost My
Mom I Lost My Faith
It was going to be a busy weekend in what was my busy 24-year-old
life. I went to school during the day and worked in the evenings,
and I was dating the man I planned to marry. That Saturday, my
fiancé and I were going to a baby shower. On Sunday, the
family was gathering to celebrate my grandparents' fiftieth wedding
anniversary. That weekend was my parents' wedding anniversary
My mother had been sick with the flu for about three days. She
was resting on the couch that morning when I left the house.
I promised her I'd pick up some things at the grocery store for
the party the next day on our way home from the shower.
That evening, when we returned from the shower, cars were parked
everywhere at my parents' home. It was weird. I had no idea what
was going on. We were trying to park the car when my father came
out of the house. He told us that my mother had suffered a heart
attack. The medics had tried to bring her back, but they couldn't
save her. She was dead. My mother was dead.
To this day, we don't know if it was heart symptoms that made
it look like she had the flu or if it was actually the flu that
caused the heart attack. What I do know is that my mother was
the foundation of our family, and my two younger sisters and
I were completely lost without her.
I could not believe that God would take our mother at such a
young age and without any warning. I fell into a severe depression.
I was numb. I did not feel love. I didn't feel anything. It was
hard to cope with everyday life. It was hard to make it through
an entire day. I fell out of love with my husband-to-be. I questioned
my faith in God. There were days that I just prayed for God to
take my life, too.
Up until then I had been an active member of our church community,
so it was natural to talk to Father Kevork. He reminded me that
we should not question God or his plan for us. I knew that he
was right, but, at the same time, I could not understand why
God would take my mother.
I don't remember much about that time. I remember trying to keep
busy. I could not handle idle time, because that was when I would
start feeling sorry for myself and my depression would really
set in. I knew I just had to put my trust in God. I did.
Little by little I became stronger. It took about three months
for my feelings to return. I fell in love with my fiancé
again. We married as we had planned to before my mother died,
and I began attending church regularly again.
In hindsight, I think the key to my spiritual recovery was my
husband and I deciding to lead the Armenian Christian Youth Organization
Youth Leaders group at the church. My mother's death had taught
me the importance of living each day to the fullest, because
we don't know what tomorrow will bring. I tried to get this message
across to the children. The more I gave to these children, the
more they gave back to me and the stronger my faith became. My
husband and I have led our youth group for fifteen years now,
and each year of working with the kids brings me the same wonderful
My first child was born on the anniversary of my mother's death
four years later. I don't believe that is a coincidence. I think
God knew how painful that day was for me so he gave me my child
on that day. Then, even more ironically, four years after my
first child was born, my father died the exact same way my mother
had on the exact same weekend. Part of me could not believe that
God had done this to me and our family again. I did not lose
my faith the second time, but I slipped a little bit.
Our lives are in God's hands. He has the plan. He has the control.
What we can do is to pray and trust Him. I learned that from
these experiences. I learned to live each minute of every day
as if it were my last, and I learned that the best way to do
this is to give to others. The more you give, the more you receive,
and the stronger your faith becomes.
Laurie Nalbandian, Fowler, California
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