By Doris Padron-Murga (’25)
I looked down at the cold, hard ground and spent a long time staring at my grandmother’s headstone. The gloomy raindrops rolled down my cheeks. This so-called God took the only person in the world who did not deserve to suffer, to be in pain, or to die. I do not know if I’ll ever get over the loss of my beloved abuela. She had been sick for two months and had been in excruciating pain. I yelled up at the sky, “Where the hell are you, God? Why cause such pain to a good person?” This was the only time I had hope that God might respond.
What I was feeling at the time was biblical. My rage was beyond comprehension. My abuela loved God and believed that if someone was sick, God would heal them. She drove me to church where we prayed the rosary and read the Bible. What I was feeling at the time reminded me of Anthony B. Pinn’s story, “In the Dark Night of Disaster.” Pinn places a great deal of emphasis on the concept of theodicy throughout the story. According to Britannica, theodicy is defined as “why a perfectly good, almighty, and all-knowing God allows evil to exist.” During that obscure time, I didn’t know that there was a word for what I was feeling. I didn’t know there was a label. Understanding what theodicy is has helped me in my healing process. Pinn’s essay helped me heal. When it comes to God, Pinn and I have the same thoughts. Why does God allow evil to exist?
I have not been able to step foot in a church or attend a religious service in almost two years. The last time I went to church was the day she died. I was dressed solemnly in black, sitting on a wooden bench. I watched as people poured into the building to pay their respects to my abuela. The priest began the service, and I wondered why we do those very things (like attend a mass) if God never emerges. That day, many family members told me, “God called her, she’s with her savoir now.” I made a vow to myself that I would never allow myself to pour all my beliefs into a mythological figure known as God. I choose not to believe because I don’t want to feel anger, disappointment, and rage when God doesn’t show up to stop evil things from happening. At the time, I didn’t comprehend the aftermath of that day and how it would affect my entire life. During the mass that day, I didn’t believe that was going to be my last time in a church. I wanted to believe in God, be a good Catholic girl to honor my abuela. That passion that she had for God, I believed that it would inspire me, but it didn’t.
The biggest lesson I learned from all this chaos was to not wait for some invisible mythical creature called God. Get on your feet, stop moping in the pain and you will begin to heal slowly. You can’t rely on God to solve issues for you. I don’t mean to offend people who do believe in God. I understand that God isn’t mythical for some. And I respect that; I use to believe. To this day I yell up at the sky, “Where the hell are you God? Why cause such pain to a good person?” The months after my grandmother’s passing, I questioned not only my beliefs but my grandmother’s beliefs, as well. She believed in God, and she was by all accounts a good Catholic. “Then Why did God permit her passing?,” I asked. It took a while for the answer to come to me. I realized that without hardship, suffering, and pain you can’t experience growth.That being said, if I could still believe, I would want to believe that God allows pain so we can grow through it.