This Reddit user was recently grappling with the decision of whether or not to attend a church service dedicated to his late son, Jonah, after having denounced his religion.
He Lost His OIdest Son
The Original Poster (OP) is a 34-year-old who has been married for more than 10 years and had four boys.
OP’s oldest passed away from cancer over three years ago. And OP began to accept that he was an atheist when his son was battling cancer.
OP was raised as a Catholic and tried to remain one for many years despite having numerous concerns.
His Faith Was Tested
OP’s first test of faith started when his sister came out as gay to their parents and the rejection she received from everyone they knew, including their parents.
However, it wasn’t until she passed away at the age of 17 that the priest and a few of OP’s parents’ friends told them it was God’s way of saving OP’s family from her sin.
That was the moment OP truly realized he didn’t fit with religion or really any kind of religion since he had friends of various faiths who talked about their parents disapproving of OP’s sister’s “choices.”
He Couldn’t Accept the Bigotry
However, OP’s wife is devout Catholic, and she was aware of OP’s doubts and questions about his faith when they first started dating. But OP loved his wife and even went to church and prayed with her even though he didn’t believe.
When they had their first child, Jonah, OP’s heart was filled with love, and his illness ripped his heart and taught OP a lot.
OP’s wife’s inclination toward religion increased after Jonah’s death, even more so than it had throughout his illness.
But it was the opposite for OP.
His Wife Didn’t Understand
A month after Jonah’s passing, OP’s wife brought up the fact that OP no longer prayed, didn’t join her in prayer, or went to church.
OP then explained his reasons to her. OP replied that he didn’t think there was a God when she questioned how he could reject God.
Many more arguments followed, and their marriage struggled, but they sought counseling, which was helpful.
Currently, a special service for Jonah is being organized by OP’s wife’s church, a service that her parents played a significant role in planning.
However, OP stopped going to church a year ago.
The Service Would Be in the Church
He stopped when the local priest wanted to talk to OP about God, religion, the bible, and healing.
During that conversation, he brought up OP’s sister, Jonah, and how they were being kept apart because of OP’s sister’s wickedness and how OP should be at ease knowing his son was secure.
But OP was quite upset about what he heard and decided to stop going to church.
His wife wanted OP to attend this service for their son, but OP informed her he was unable to do so.
OP said that he couldn’t go because he doesn’t believe in religion anymore.
Church Makes Him Sick to His Stomach
She mentioned that OP used to believe, but OP responded by saying that although he attempted to believe, he was only fooling himself and that the topics discussed at church make him sick to his stomach and just serve to infuriate him.
OP’s wife said he should be prepared to do anything for their kid, who was raised Catholic, or for the other boys in their family, all of whom she claimed were beginning to speak more like OP.
She informed OP that, at the very least, as her spouse, OP should be there for her.
OP is now thinking about what to do and whether he is wrong in deciding not to go to the service. He took to Reddit for opinions, and several Redditors showed their support for OP.
One Redditor said that they are sorry for OP’s loss and OP’s wife should understand that no one should be forced to attend a religious rite they don’t support.
Another Reddit user wrote, “This service is in no way for your son. These types of things are for the living. If you can tune out the [noise], be there for your wife.”
A third Redditor commented, “I can’t imagine a bigger pain than losing a child. Grief and religion are extremely personal, and while yes, it’s important to be there for your partner for mutual support, if this priest is so awful to you, don’t go.”
So what do you think? Was OP wrong for what he did?
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