[The color test] said I was yellow. I felt strangely like a boy obsessed with dating. -Olympus
Question #88719 posted on 01/15/2017 5:44 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,


I get that when we lose a relativ (such as a parent) or at least when we are advised they have a few days left that it's going to hurt immensely and that overwhelming regret for things you should've done will hit like a dumptruck through a nitroglycerin plant... but why doesn't having a testimony of the Gospel make it easier to deal with? Got word my dad has "a few days left" (he's in Cali and I'm in Utah... no money to fly plus I hate airports... highways are a nightmare all through Nevada and major problems in the Sierras. Alternate ways to drive take much longer and are prone to same winter nightmare. He was getting a "blessing of release" last night and that's the latest I've heard. Had a blessing myself last night but I still feel completely numb and pretty much feeling disconnected from life right now (more to the whole story that I'd rather not go into)

- Wanting HIm to take away this pain right now completely so it's all gone

A:

Dear you,

I am so, so sorry you have to go through this. I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but I asked my mother for some thoughts because she lost her dad when she was 31. This is what she said.

I know that when my dad died, it was easier for me because I knew he was in a better place, and I would be able to see him again. So for me, having a testimony of the gospel helped immensely. There was still pain and regret for things I should have done or didn't do, but knowing how tired and sick my dad was, and knowing that it was an actual release also gave me comfort when he died. 

I absolutely know that I will see my father again, and that brings peace. I still miss him, sometimes acutely, but knowing the gospel plan, and knowing this a temporary thing, makes it easier.
 
My job now is to make the atonement work in my life so that I can be reunited with my dad, my grandparents and other loved ones, as well as our Savior and our Heavenly Parents.
 
Something else you may find helpful is this quote from President Monson's conference talk, given after his wife passed away.
 
Brothers and sisters, six months ago as we met together in our general conference, my sweet wife, Frances, lay in the hospital, having suffered a devastating fall just a few days earlier. In May, after weeks of valiantly struggling to overcome her injuries, she slipped into eternity. Her loss has been profound. She and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple on October 7, 1948. Tomorrow would have been our 65th wedding anniversary. She was the love of my life, my trusted confidant, and my closest friend. To say that I miss her does not begin to convey the depth of my feelings.
 
Sometimes the pain we feel at the passing of a loved one isn't immediately mitigated by the knowledge that the gospel gives us. But I do know that your dad won't be gone. You will be able to see him again. And I promise that eternity will be so much longer than this life, and all your pain will eventually be washed away in a fullness of joy.
 
~Anathema
A:

Dear Wanting,

It's painful when you are separated from someone that you love, even if you'll see them again. I don't know why the gospel doesn't make it easier, but I can relate. Your question really strikes a chord for me - a sad, minor kind of chord. When I have to say goodbye to my dad because I'm coming back to school after a break, I cry. When I think about him dying one day, I cry (this happened as recently as yesterday, and I cried hard). When the time comes where he will leave mortality, I can't even imagine how much and how long I will cry and cry and cry. 

I feel like the gospel should be of more comfort to me than it is, but I still dread him dying. The rest of my life will be a long time to not see him. Deep attachments leave deep griefs, gospel or no gospel. The loss is still real. I'm so sorry for the pain you're going through. I hope that even though you don't feel it now that eventually you can look forward to the day when you will see him again and talk to him and address the aspects of your relationship that you regret.

-A writer

posted on 01/16/2017 12:40 p.m.
I am in your shoes. But 2 years down the road. Losing my Dad remains the most painful thing that has ever happened in my life. My depression and sadness stretched into many long, long nights on my knees, in the temple, and in the scriptures. You may not find comfort immediately.

However - dealing with losing someone with the gospel is, in the end, better than dealing with it without. Not all my siblings have the gospel in their lives, and 3-4 years down the road, I have noticed that the ones of us who have consistently stuck with the gospel have found more healing and peace than those who stayed.

A few resources that have helped me immensely:
-A Grief Observed, by C.S. Lewis. He lost his wife to cancer very soon after they were married. I have never read a better book on the subject.
-2 Nephi 4 or any of Moroni. A lot of the prophets write about losing their fathers, and reading the BOM with that focus helped me alot. It helped me understand pain and what to do with it.
-My journal. I wrote about the painful stuff, but writing about the good stuff was almost more therapeutic. Once a week, I sat down and wrote out 1-2 favorite memories with my Dad, or a short letter to him about something good in my life.
-The account in the NT about the Savior and His father. If there is anyone who understands losing Dad's, it's the Savior. He is the only one of us who lost not only his earthly Dad, but also his Heavenly One. Studying that account helped me alot.

Losing Dads sucks. There is no way around it. But losing Dads without the gospel is harder. It's been a long, hard road, but knowing that I will see him again has become a healing hope in my heart.

I don't know you - but I love you. Give yourself time. Give yourself love. And take time to experience grief. I know it doesn't feel like it now, but you won't feel like this forever.

~A girl who lost her Dad