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My Faith: What people talk about before they die
January 28th, 2012
11:00 PM ET

My Faith: What people talk about before they die

Editor's Note: Kerry Egan is a hospice chaplain in Massachusetts and the author of "Fumbling: A Pilgrimage Tale of Love, Grief, and Spiritual Renewal on the Camino de Santiago."

By Kerry Egan, Special to CNN

As a divinity school student, I had just started working as a student chaplain at a cancer hospital when my professor asked me about my work.  I was 26 years old and still learning what a chaplain did.

"I talk to the patients," I told him.

"You talk to patients?  And tell me, what do people who are sick and dying talk to the student chaplain about?" he asked.

I had never considered the question before.  “Well,” I responded slowly, “Mostly we talk about their families.”

“Do you talk about God?

“Umm, not usually.”

“Or their religion?”

“Not so much.”

“The meaning of their lives?”

“Sometimes.”

“And prayer?  Do you lead them in prayer?  Or ritual?”

“Well,” I hesitated.  “Sometimes.  But not usually, not really.”

I felt derision creeping into the professor's voice.  “So you just visit people and talk about their families?”

“Well, they talk.  I mostly listen.”

“Huh.”  He leaned back in his chair.

A week later, in the middle of a lecture in this professor's packed class, he started to tell a story about a student he once met who was a chaplain intern at a hospital.

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“And I asked her, 'What exactly do you do as a chaplain?'  And she replied, 'Well, I talk to people about their families.'” He paused for effect. “And that was this student's understanding of  faith!  That was as deep as this person's spiritual life went!  Talking about other people's families!”

The students laughed at the shallowness of the silly student.  The professor was on a roll.

“And I thought to myself,” he continued, “that if I was ever sick in the hospital, if I was ever dying, that the last person I would ever want to see is some Harvard Divinity School student chaplain wanting to talk to me about my family.”

My body went numb with shame.  At the time I thought that maybe, if I was a better chaplain, I would know how to talk to people about big spiritual questions.  Maybe if dying people met with a good, experienced chaplain they would talk about God, I thought.

Today, 13 years later, I am a hospice chaplain.  I visit people who are dying in their homes, in hospitals, in nursing homes.   And if you were to ask me the same question - What do people who are sick and dying talk about with the chaplain?  – I, without hesitation or uncertainty, would give you the same answer. Mostly, they talk about their families: about their mothers and fathers, their sons and daughters.

They talk about the love they felt, and the love they gave.  Often they talk about love they did not receive, or the love they did not know how to offer, the love they withheld, or maybe never felt for the ones they should have loved unconditionally.

They talk about how they learned what love is, and what it is not.    And sometimes, when they are actively dying, fluid gurgling in their throats, they reach their hands out to things I cannot see and they call out to their parents:  Mama, Daddy, Mother.

What I did not understand when I was a student then, and what I would explain to that professor now, is that people talk to the chaplain about their families because that is how we talk about God.  That is how we talk about the meaning of our lives.  That is how we talk about the big spiritual questions of human existence.

We don't live our lives in our heads, in theology and theories.  We live our lives in our families:  the families we are born into, the families we create, the families we make through the people we choose as friends.

This is where we create our lives, this is where we find meaning, this is where our purpose becomes clear.

Family is where we first experience love and where we first give it.  It's probably the first place we've been hurt by someone we love, and hopefully the place we learn that love can overcome even the most painful rejection.

This crucible of love is where we start to ask those big spiritual questions, and ultimately where they end.

I have seen such expressions of love:  A husband gently washing his wife's face with a cool washcloth, cupping the back of her bald head in his hand to get to the nape of her neck, because she is too weak to lift it from the pillow. A daughter spooning pudding into the mouth of her mother, a woman who has not recognized her for years.

A wife arranging the pillow under the head of her husband's no-longer-breathing body as she helps the undertaker lift him onto the waiting stretcher.

We don't learn the meaning of our lives by discussing it.  It's not to be found in books or lecture halls or even churches or synagogues or mosques.  It's discovered through these actions of love.

If God is love, and we believe that to be true, then we learn about God when we learn about love. The first, and usually the last, classroom of love is the family.

Sometimes that love is not only imperfect, it seems to be missing entirely.  Monstrous things can happen in families.  Too often, more often than I want to believe possible, patients tell me what it feels like when the person you love beats you or rapes you.  They tell me what it feels like to know that you are utterly unwanted by your parents.  They tell me what it feels like to be the target of someone's rage.   They tell me what it feels like to know that you abandoned your children, or that your drinking destroyed your family, or that you failed to care for those who needed you.

Even in these cases, I am amazed at the strength of the human soul.  People who did not know love in their families know that they should have been loved.  They somehow know what was missing, and what they deserved as children and adults.

When the love is imperfect, or a family is destructive, something else can be learned:  forgiveness.  The spiritual work of being human is learning how to love and how to forgive.

We don’t have to use words of theology to talk about God; people who are close to death almost never do. We should learn from those who are dying that the best way to teach our children about God is by loving each other wholly and forgiving each other fully - just as each of us longs to be loved and forgiven by our mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Kerry Egan.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Death

soundoff (4,494 Responses)
  1. Aircarz

    "...is that people talk to the chaplain about their families because that is how we talk about God. That is how we talk about the meaning of our lives. That is how we talk about the big spiritual questions of human existence." WRONG ANSWER, you false teacher. If you are not talking about the redeeming blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, how He paid the price for our sins, that He and He alone is the gate to the narrow path that few find, that no one i repeat NO ONE goes to the Father except through the Son then you my friend are talking about the wrong things, teaching false doctrine, and complacently sitting there and letting these poor people slide right away from your counsel and into the depths of HELL. We do not earn our way into Heaven regardless of how good we were, what or how much we did for others, how much we loved or were loved – if we do not know Christ, we do not enter into the gates of Heaven. That is the gospel that you are denying them and for YOU as a "shepherd" you are held doubly accountable and their blood shall be on YOUR HEAD. Your professor was right and still is – you should seriously consider another line of work CHAPLAIN.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Answer

      Garbage.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      Well, at least you spelled "chaplain" correctly.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Karla

      If you represent Jesus, let me run as far away as possible. You sound just like the Pharisees. No love. Your words just sound empty and non-Christ like.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • MikeDeAng

      I'm not religious, but I have such a hard time understanding how religious people can be so wrong on matters like this.

      Aircarz, it is people like you that have turned me away from organized religion.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Dennis Meyer

      Amen

      January 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Samsword

      Christ said He is the only way to the Father, but He also said "Not everyone that saith 'Lord Lord' will enter the kingdom." Clearly there was something deeper to His message than merely 'preaching His name.' Something I'm afraid you may have missed...

      January 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Canada

      So very true. God bless you. Expect to be hated by the majority for writing the truth. Sad world we live in.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  2. justbecause

    this is disturbing that Kerry is a Chaplin and does not give the dying person the chance to except Jesus as lord andd savior is a sin. I think you are a farce, a joke, that makes me sick to think of all the people YOU had the chance and obligation to share Jesuses love and sacrafice !! Shame on you!!!!!

    January 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      What's disturbing is that people of your intelligence level have access to computers.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Aircarz

      Couldn't have said it better myself, Just. Those who angrily oppose the kinds of things you have said are the same who devoutly reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but will fight you if you suggest that they will not get into heaven without Him. They have bought the lie of the serpent hook line and sinker and are on the wrong path. They need our prayers.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Me

      Iamdeadlyserious is spot on!

      January 29, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Answer

      Religious nutbags don't even have respect for those on their death beds to stop their garbage fairytales.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Samsword

      Who's to say they didn't share Jesus' message. There's more to Jesus' message than words alone.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do you even know how to read, just stupid? Ap pa rently not. This chaplain never said she didn't allow dying people to talk about God. She simply related that most of them want to talk about their loved ones. I suppose you would have her put them in a head-lock and force them to discuss the after-life?

      January 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  3. Ben

    That is the most enlightened thing I have ever read or heard from a religious person.

    What this person says is true. The person who wrote this article is a great teacher.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • justbecause

      A great teacher. ??????????????????????????????????????

      January 29, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Tim

      It is amazing. I was moved to write a comment on this article and as I scrolled down, I saw Ben's comment and said, "Well written!" I was moved by the TRUTH of the article. Thank you.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Karla

      Totally agree.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  4. Dear atheists and bible thumpers

    Please stop arguing and call a truce over this one article. Yes, I know it's hard to be tolerant to one another, but please try and not ruin such a beautiful piece of work when everything is so depressing these days.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Answer

      The article can be kept by all who want it save it as a text file. People need not to save the comments.

      Hence this 'act' spoils nothing.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Charlie

      I refuse to sit here and allow this garbage about a god that doesn't exist and about religion that has caused and created more deaths, harm, and suffering in this world than anything else and not react to it. The ultimate sin as far as I and many others are concerned is this stupid belief in invisible friends. STOP IT. STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Aircarz

      this "beautiful piece of work" is false doctrine by a false teacher – an apostate...it neglects to lay out the requirement and that is submission to Jesus Christ. Not one word of Biblical Gospel in here, not one word of truth. It is exactly how satan works – he mixes one drop of poison with alot of truth so it sonds "beautiful" to those who seek to have their ears tickled, then they drink the poison, every single drop and crave more as long as they don't have to hear the name of Jesus mentioned. Um, just like it was NOT mentioned ONCE on this article, and without Jesus, you do not enter into heaven. Sorry folks, that's the way it is like it or not.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Answer

      Who the heck cares for this imaginary god f yours? It's laughable.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • MikeDeAng

      Aircarz, you may have heard the word, but the message was lost on you.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • tallulah13

      This is a public forum and everyone is ent.itled to express themselves. If this offends you, don't read the responses.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:33 am |
  5. Doug

    The author still doesn't appear to have gotten the Professor's message. The flip side of "what do the dying say" is "what do we say to the dying?" It should not be that we learn about God when we learn about love, but that we learn about love when we learn about God, for God is love. And we also learn about dying when we learn about God.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  6. StephiJ1

    I am not the most religious of people, but I do believe in God, and Jesus.....but many people seem to forget that God's SON sacrificied himself for our sins.....in my book, a SON is part of a FAMILY.....God put us on this earth to be of free will and to make our own way.....Love being the biggest part of that way....we love God and we love Jesus....but we are also all part of his FAMILY....He made us all to be part of a unit that has hope and faith and love.....we were meant to procreate....so what does it matter if a person who is dying does not automatically think of God, but of their loved ones? I don't think God would think less of them.....I don't have to go to church every Sunday to have a relationship with God....I can sit in my backyard and listen to the birds and the wind and have peace and serenity and a conversation with him.......The whole point is, we are not the ones that are supposed to judge anyone....that's his place....not ours.....when judgment day comes, he will be the one to say welcome, or turn us away.....

    January 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  7. Elizabeth

    this article highlights the importance of the human experience. at this point, i can only speculate that on ones death bed, we must reflect on what life has given us on a relative, personal, touchable level.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Answer

      Exactly.

      Those of the religious agenda keep on telling themselves that whoever this person that wrote it should be more involved with religion and should keep on pushing the "topic of religion" onto dying people instead of just being a human being and focusing on the person's feelings at their last hours on earth.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • Guddu

      Methadone Abuse .net welcomes you to place ocmments on the topic of methadone abuse, methadone, and similar subjects related to methadone abuse and other drugs and drug addictions

      April 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  8. forist

    Life is interesting and in a constant state of flux. We come into the world knowing nothing but learn quickly about love anf family. As we get older we become aware of our immortality. We read the obits to see who has passed and if we might have known them. In death we see families gather at funerals and we sometimes wonder how many that have come to pay there last respects took the time to visit the ill and dieing before it was to late. And in the final stages of life all that we can hope for is not to be alone when we pass and more often than not it is family that we desire to have near us. It has little to do with faith but everything to do with knowing we were loved.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • Answer

      "It has little to do with faith but everything to do with knowing we were loved."

      That is all life is .. finding the beauty of love. Family, friends, and the people you wish to get to know. To understand each other and being happy.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  9. Bill

    Kerry,

    You seem so well intentioned. The absence of the word "Christ" in your article tells me there is something dramatically wrong with your mission. You must have sat with many professing Christians. Without the acceptance of Him, the request for forgiveness of sin, and repentence, that precious person is lost. If you do not uderstand that, so are you. I pray you will begin to embrace the "Word". Your works, and theirs, will not get you and them there. Love of family, alone, will not get them there. Please, please yield and do not get puffed up in your perceived knowledge. Your advice on this subject is dangerous and incorrect despite what you have observed and heard.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • obvious troll is obvious and unimaginative

      obvious troll....is obvious. and unimaginative.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • JJ

      Oh Bill...you are so misguided. You and your kind are why I think that all religion is evil.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • paintpaintpaint

      Bill, you need to breathe and relax, and stop trying to run the Universe. God understand all our needs, our fears and our love. Get over yourself. Dying is hard enough without having to do it according to Bill's Rules.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • MikeDeAng

      Bill, sad that you have taken the one inspiring message I have read on this belief blog and reminded why I hold organized religion in such contempt.

      Nice to know your lord is more exclusive than inclusive....I know I know, I am a tool of the devil....thanks for keeping me out....

      January 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • plee1382

      YOU ARE CORRECT SIR She has not said anything about Christ and how a Chaplain is supposed to be a Chaplain. As Billy Graham has said 'Sin Separates us from God' the only thing that will join us with God is his Jesus,...'THIS IS NOT RELIGION' it's the FACT that Jesus came to earth and died in our place and wants to give us heaven 'if only we believe in him' and NOT JUST God is love and he admit anybody into heaven, that's not how it's going to work.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • plee1382

      She has not said anything about Christ and how a Chaplain is supposed to be a Chaplain. As Billy Graham has said 'Sin Separates us from God' the only thing that will join us with God is his Jesus,...'THIS IS NOT RELIGION' it's the FACT that Jesus came to earth and died in our place and wants to give us heaven 'if only we believe in him' and NOT JUST God is love and he admit anybody into heaven, that's not how it's going to work.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Paul Lee

      She has not said anything about Christ and how a Chaplain is supposed to be a Chaplain. As Billy Graham has said 'Sin Separates us from God' the only thing that will join us with God is his Jesus,...'THIS IS NOT RELIGION' it's the FACT that Jesus came to earth and died in our place and wants to give us heaven 'if only we believe in him' and NOT JUST God is love and he admit anybody into heaven, that's not how it's going to work.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Paul Lee

      As Billy Graham has said 'Sin Separates us from God' the only thing that will join us with God is his Jesus,...'THIS IS NOT RELIGION' it's the FACT that Jesus came to earth and died in our place and wants to give us heaven 'if only we believe in him' and NOT JUST God is love and he admit anybody into heaven, that's not how it's going to work.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • jon

      There is nothing wrong with her but there is something wrong with you Bill. You live in a religious box and can't think outside of it because you believe in one religious belief that you push upon others.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  10. hemo

    better to REIGN in HELL than to SERVE in HEAVEN

    January 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • hampsterboy

      Long live Satan!!!!!!!!!!!!

      January 29, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Ben

      That is the most enlightened thing I have ever read or heard from a religious person.

      What this person says is true. The person who wrote this article is a great teacher.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
  11. TOM

    I can't believe what I"m reading, yes I believe when you you are dying, you want your family and all the people you have loved to be near and help you through this difficult time. I can't believe how narrow mined you people are, apparently you don't have religion in your life, I feel sorry for you, when your day comes and you do not believe there is an after life, but you will find out that there is. May GOD have Mercy on us all. So sorry, if I have offended any one.l

    January 29, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Answer

      The question is and always will be: "which god?".

      January 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • paintpaintpaint

      What is your point? Do you think these dying people are going to be surprised by an afterlife? God's there, with them, at their final hour. Just maybe doesn't need to announce himself to you.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  12. Aircarz

    NEWSFLASH:
    We do not all just automatically go to heaven when we die. If you are not a part of God’s family here on earth, what ON EARTH makes you think you shall be a part of His family in Heaven? The first step in salvation is the confession that we are ALL sinners, then to realize that we can NEVER earn our way into Heaven regardless of how good we were, what or how much we did for others, how much we loved or were loved. Jesus is the gate through which we enter onto that narrow path that FEW FIND. Bypass Jesus, and you enter onto the wide and well worn highway to eternal damnation that MOST are on. The thing about it is that it is YOUR CHOICE. If you choose to reject Jesus Christ, you shall not enter into the gates of Heaven I assure you. I try to say these things in love the best that I can so forgive me if I make this seem imperative…it IS imperative – your soul is at stake.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Answer

      More garbage. Cut and paste.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Faith is the word we use to describe belief in something for which there is no evidence. I don't believe in leprechauns either.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Aircarz

      Good im glad you've read it twice Answer...hopefully it will stick!

      January 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • Answer

      I never read your kinds' slant. It doesn't do anything except become garbage – much like you are Aircarz.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • The truth is...

      This is more garbage. Reposting it doesn't make it any truer.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • MikeTheAtheist

      Let me be clear.

      I consciously and deliberately choose to reject 100% your statements about heaven because I have an effective and reliable standard of truth. Religion, including your phony promises of heaven and eternal life, doesn't even begin to meet that standard.

      If your "loving" god wants to condemn me to eternal torture because I feel it necessary to separate truth from falsehood in a rational way, if he expects strong belief but remains intentionally HIDDEN from humans and our 5 senses (thus expecting irrational belief as a condition of eternal life), if he chooses to condemn the 67% of this world which is non-christian to be tortured forever, then he doesn't deserve worship in the first place.

      I am not concerned about your threats of hell because they meet my standard of truth exactly as well as your god claims and your heaven claims. That is to say, NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST.

      In other words, it is YOUR hell, not mine. YOU go burn in it.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  13. HenriB

    Before I die, I wish to speak to someone like Kerry Egan.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
  14. Aircarz

    We do not all just automatically go to heaven when we die. If you are not a part of God’s family here on earth, what ON EARTH makes you think you shall be a part of His family in Heaven? The first step in salvation is the confession that we are ALL sinners, then to realize that we can NEVER earn our way into Heaven regardless of how good we were, what or how much we did for others, how much we loved or were loved. Jesus is the gate through which we enter onto that narrow path that FEW FIND. Bypass Jesus, and you enter onto the wide and well worn highway to eternal damnation that MOST are on. The thing about it is that it is YOUR CHOICE. If you choose to reject Jesus Christ, you shall not enter into the gates of Heaven I assure you. I try to say these things in love the best that I can so forgive me if I make this seem imperative…it IS imperative – your soul is at stake.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Answer

      Garbage.

      You are walking mess of insecurity.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Kelly

      Aircarz – We ALL DO GO TO HEAVEN. As Kerry says God is love. Anything else would not be love and not about God. How sad you are so mislead and don't you think you should stay on your medication?

      January 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • clarify

      Quite true, Aircarz. Kelly has obviously not made a study of God's word. We do not ALL go to heaven.
      And "answer", what is garbage to one man is treasure to another:)

      January 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Answer

      @clarify

      Then may you constantly roll in it. You'll still die like everyone does.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, stuff it, you pompous twit. You don't know where anyone goes after death. Just knock it off with your stupid declarations about what you "know". NO ONE KNOWS.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • MikeTheAtheist

      My "soul" is not at stake. There is no reason to believe in a soul, so there is no reason to believe that mine is damned or saved or even that it exists at all. My thinking isn't done using my heart muscle nor my "soul" whatever that may be. It's done by using my BRAIN.

      I don't think your efforts at persuasion are convincing. If there is a god, wouldn't he send someone more effective?

      It is so hard to get good help these days.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Reynolds

      Die, and you will never know you ever existed. The rest is chemistry..

      January 31, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  15. Chris From Iowa

    Nobody knows much of anything. Including all you dolts on this b.s. peanut gallery soundboard. Nyah!

    January 29, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  16. Scott

    My mother was an evangelical and when I was growing up she loved to tell me that on my death bed I would lie there and regret over and over again all the bad things I had ever done in my life so I shouldn’t do anything that wasn’t church sanctioned.

    As an adult I fear lying on my death bed and recounting all the things I didn’t get to do because of all the fear she and her church pounded into me

    January 29, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • Kuram Narayana

      Fear not. There is no such thing as Hell. Sin is a relative word.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  17. Johann

    All of the patients talked about family, and NOT God. That should be the most important message of this article....and speak volumes to you. Why do Americans evoke religion when it is not needed, and in fact not present!

    There is a phrase "there are no atheists in foxholes"...implying that when people are about to die they hedge their bets and start praying. In fact, this article suggests that God is NOT an important part of people's lives, at the one time when they would be MOST introspective.

    With no mention of God, the author insists on putting words in mouths of these people that they did NOT utter. They don't need to experience God through family! Family and human existence is more than enough.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Answer

      People like to lie to themselves – to give them some sense of purpose – for their life. When they haven't found a meaningful life in reality – then the illusion of a heaven will suffice. To convince oneself of their death they need to lie and create that heaven in their minds.

      To repeatedly convince themselves that it is there.. that cycle of insecurity about death. Plain and simple.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Pinewalker

      someone has issues

      January 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • Chuck

      Johann,I could not have said it better. My wife lost her battle with cancer last July. In her final days she was always talking about our family. To us our children and grandchildren were our strength to go on.we know God was with on her last day,and She waits for me in Heaven.

      January 29, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • David Lee

      .As Billy Graham has said 'Sin Separates us from God' the only thing that will join us with God is his Jesus,...'THIS IS NOT RELIGION' it's the FACT that Jesus came to earth and died in our place and wants to give us heaven 'if only we believe in him' and NOT JUST God is love and he admit anybody into heaven, that's not how it's going to work

      January 29, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • David Lee

      .Nothing is about Jesus and through HIM we have forgiveness if they only believe...what have you done for me?

      January 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • David Lee

      I sure would want that Chaplain around me she talk about any hope or forgiveness

      January 29, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
  18. Why did Jesus invent angina?

    I dont get it

    January 29, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  19. Answer

    No christian has ever went to heaven.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Pinewalker

      that's like a guy in a trench coat on the side of the highway flashing traffic.....you're bound to get some attention with that one. That's a rather absolute and subjective statement don't you think

      January 29, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  20. Aircarz

    Dear ones, without a relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – you DO NOT enter into the gates of Heaven but instead, and this is the part people do not want to hear – you go to hell. By simply covering your ears and going "LA LA LA LA LA LA" will not allow you stand before God and say "but no one ever told me Lord." If you are not talking to the dying about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross, if you cannot confess that you are a sinner and that you NEED Jesus, you WILL BE CAST INTO THE OUTER DARKNESS loved ones.

    January 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Me

      So ate you voting for Gringrich?

      January 29, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • Scott

      Typical twisted, sadistic Christian. Take advantage of the most frightening and vulnerable time in a person’s life to impose your vile fantasies of a tortuous after life. I’ll bet your pastor would be there too pushing for an addition to their will giving the church a big gift from the estate.

      January 29, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Aircarz:

      Of course you have no proof of what you claim, but I'm sure it makes you very happy to think that people who don't believe exactly what you do will suffer forever. How very christian of you.

      January 30, 2012 at 1:36 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.