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Can you just walk into church and see the vicar/pastor/priest?

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lonedad | 22:20 Wed 03rd Aug 2011 | Religion & Spirituality
17 Answers
Ive had a pretty bad few weeks. It started about 8 weeks ago when I fell out with my Mom. This isnt some teen ramble by the way, Im 34!!
The thing with my family is that no one can say anything without the worry that it would blow up in your face. When it does start to come out then it is huge!! This is what happened with my Mom. Both of us had exchanged some pretty nasty words.
For quite a whilenow Ive felt that she has played a massive role in my life. Ive made huge decisions based on her advice. When it all goes tits up she backs away and says she has nothing to do with it. I know, Im a big boy and should stand on my own two feet but all I have is my family. But over the last 5 years I have blamed her for me not seeing my Nan. Again, I know Im a big boy but she would have cut me off had I went to see her.
5 years ago we lost my Grandad to heart disease. It was really hard and my Nan was on her own. They lived about 30 miles from us, they moved from where we all lived about 15 years previously which on its own caused a pretty big family rift. My Mom suggested to my Nan that she could come back home and live with her while they waited for her to get sheltered housing nearby. Now I know she said this as I was there. My Nan agreed and I really think this took my mom aback. I reckon my Mom just said it thinking my Nan would have no intention of moving. My Nan immeadiatly put her home on the market and it was sold within a week. Luckily my nan had a month or two to move out because my Mom backed away claiming she never suggested this at all. I was so angry, my Nan and I had grown close and i thought this was wrong. I lived in a pokey 1st floor flat she wouldnt have managed the stairs. It was obvious this had hurt her. Remarkably my Nan did forgive my Mom and she ended up renting some house nearby.
My nan then began to sell stuff because it was just easier that way than carting all this old stuff around, knowing full well she would have to move again in a few months. I also think this was part of the way she was grieving. My Mom again hit the roof saying she was wrong. It came to a head one day and my Mom said she didnt want to see my Nan anymore, citing that my Nan was too demanding. This upset me. I ended up being in the middle. My Mom was slagging my Nan off and my Nan did the same to my Mom. It was pretty horrible stuff. In the end both of them played tug of war with me and were making me choose. After a heated chat with my Nan I ended up walking out and not going back.
About a year or so after that I went to visit her. She was in the sheltered housing that she was waiting for. The reception was frosty and she went on the attack straight away. I was personally going through a very rough time and really couldnt cope with it, although i did understand where my nan was coming from.
The last time I saw my Nan was nearly 4 years ago. I thought of her often and really wanted to see her again but just lost my bottle. I got a call on Saturday that she was rushed to hospital. There she laid in ITU hooked up to machines while her body was giving up, she was never consious while in hospital. Yesterday we watched her die. I didnt get to say sorry, that I loved her or that I missed her.
During the last 5 weeks I have had this overwhelming urge to walk into a church. It was even worse yesterday. I had to walk past the chapel to and from ITU. Im not into religion, it plays no part in my life. I have seen far too much badness in this world to believe that a God exists. But this urge is overwhelming and came at this time. I would understand it if it began yesterday or even saturday when I felt vunerable but it was going on for weeks before. I even had an overwhelming urge to see my Nan.
What is this? Do I trust a man of God to not use all this to pull me into a faith I dont believe in? Something is telling me to go in there but this is scaring me more than anything else. Is there anyone with any advice or has also gone through this?


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I can understand where you are coming from. I was in a very similar situation with my mother. Even now some 40 years later, we don't get on Sometimes I felt that it was jealousy because I was closer to my nan than my mum.
Church? - forget it! You get no answers from them. I know. Been there, done that, got the teeshirt to prove it.
Vicars, priests have only their...
09:14 Thu 18th Aug 2011
Trying to find a vicar/priest/minister/etc in a church might actually prove to be a practical problem. Many churches are often served by a vicar (etc) who conducts services across several different parishes. He (or she) might only be present within a particular church building on, say, the third Sunday in each month.

However if you can find a vicar etc) he/she will undoubtedly try to find the time to speak to you but vicars live in the same world as everyone else and they might, for example, have to rush off to collect their kids from playgroup.

Even so, you might find it worthwhile to talk to a 'man of God', simply because you'll know that you'll be speaking in confidence to a stranger (which can often be easier than speaking to a friend or relative). I'm strongly 'anti-religion' but my occasional contacts with vicars (etc) have never left me feeling in any way pressurised to attend church services, or to otherwise get involved with organised religion.

If you feel that it's what you want to do, go for it (remembering, of course, that you might actually find it quite hard to locate a priest or vicar within a church). I'm sure that the person you speak to won't feel offended if you end up saying "I'm sorry. This isn't for me after all. I've got to go".

there's usually a contact number in the main entrance for the Vic and you could try going on line as to your parish - failing the Vic there may be a churchwarden's number and he/she can give you their tel number
there are alos other means to counselling - i.e. through your Doc
Lone dad there is also The Samaritans - always a friendly ear to listen. Google for your nearest or check out the local directory xC
Lonedad, if it helps, I am going through almost exactly the same situation as you are, I am also a non-religious type and cannot believe any religion can put us through the shear hell that life can dish out at us.
I would find a good, unbiased friend and have a good chat, let it all out.
Keep your chin up, keep busy and talk to your friends.
Most priests (RC) live on or near church premises and their doors are open to the public 24/7. Priests & vicars visit most general hospitals daily; ask for them in reception.
She will know that you love her. Speak to someone you trust or phone for an appointment at your local church, but please know, she will know how you feel.
and, even when unconsious, the patient may still know you are there, did you say anything in the room? she may well have heard you and knew you were there for her, she would know you loved her.
Question Author
Thanks for all your answers.
I did once see a counsellor when I was going through Post Traumatic Stress a few years back. I went to 3 sessions and never went back. It wasnt for me. My family arent the ones to go to. If you say anything that may offend it will be like having a brick thrown into your face. Theres too much conflict and I cant handle it right now. As for my mates, they are a loyal bunch. As good as loyal is, you never really get the unbiased opinion you need. I dont need that, I need someone to tell me how it is.
I did tell her that I loved her and that I was sorry about 30 minutes before she died. She may have heard me but Ill never know if she accepted my apology or that she loved me back.
The god thing is bothering me but its been really bizarre lately. Death, religion and things like that have never bothered me but lately its all I think about. I am terrified of dying, I cant accept that one day I will die and thats it, nothing. Im scared of dying alone. Im scared of not marrying. Its bizarre and its been the last 5 or 6 weeks. I dreamt of my Nan the night before I found out she was in hospital. Its like something or someone has been telling me to go to her. My Grandad? God? My imagination? Whatever it was i ignored it and now she is dead.
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Question Author
Thanks Eddie. I do feel that the pull is toward the church. I have no idea why though.
Im really honest about how I feel about religion. I havent christened my daughter as I believe that she should have the choice. My Mom bizarrely is a christian and does pray every night before she goes to sleep. She cannot accept that I wont christen my daughter nor does she accept my reasons. How can I stand in a church and say all those words to a God I dont believe in. I honestly cant see any man or woman of God taking me without a fight. I just want to know what this call is. Was it my Grandad? God? My imagination? It has been overwhelming. It was like a massive struggle to even walk past that chapel yesterday. I saw the hospitals reverend walking around ITU not long before they turned off the machines to allow my Nan to pass away. I really thought he was going to come over. Even my Aunt looked at him in the same way as I did. My Nan wasnt religous either so there was no requests from us for him to be there. He was either doing his rounds or was there for another family, or was he? It just seemed unreal that he turned up at that point? Would the staff in ITU have called him just in case we asked for someone to be there for Nan?
I know Im not going crazy, I know its not voices in my head or anything like that. Its a pull, its an urge as if someone is pushing me. But its not in a volatile way, its passive as if I am being given the choice but I am being urged to do so. Its never happened to me before. I was closer to my Grandad, I perhaps 'liked' him more if thats a fair thing to say. Yet this didnt happen then. Maybe it was because I had people around me at the time. Coming to think of it though I did have an overwhelming feeling of duty toward my Nan at the time. I was always with her. Going to work then travelling 15 miles to be with her and then travelling 30 miles home at midnight everyday. Then getting angry to the point of overwhelming angerat them for ditching her...but it just eased slightly the day I chose to walk away. Maybe its just my conscience.
All i know is that it really does seem that I am the only one going through this on my side of the family. Mom and Dad are off to Wales tomorrow, they went with my sister on Monday even though they knew my nan was very ill. They came back just in time yesterday but my sister didnt. My brother really just doesnt seem to be bothered and has just told me that he doesnt feel guilty. So why am I? Im cut from the same cloth so why am I the only one struggling with this?
Hi Lonedad - everything you're describing is to do with your grieving.

Shock, sadness, anger, guilt, fear and all manner of you feelings are all difficult to cope with but quite natural. Everyone is affected in different ways hence the difference between you and your brother.

Have a look here - you might find it useful.
What you are looking for may be peace. You can walk into any church, denomination not important. Not to a service, not to talk to anyone. Just to have time to yourself to remember the good things about your Nan without any distractions. To accept that she is no longer in your life but still may be an influence on your future. Losing someone is hard. Of course there are regrets, sometimes big ones. Concentrate on realising that you did love her and she did love you.
Question Author
Thanks for that Maidup. Im just reading it now and in big bold letters it says "do not grieve alone". yet my family and I allowed my Nan to do that and now my family are allowing me to do it. I can guarantee that if I was to ask my Mom for support she would then turn it around on me saying she was her Mom and that she is ill and needs the space. She did it when my Grandad died. In the end I always felt guilty telling my mom I was in pain. I did text my Mom earlier telling me that I was hurting and all she replied was "I know" I did reply to her saying I felt as bad as I did when Grandad died but she didnt reply.
Also, it says that we all deal with grief differently and that there wasnt a timeline to it. It also outlined many different reactions, some I associate with how my Nan reacted which led to my Moms excuse to ditch her. It seems to me that because my nan didnt grieve in the way my Mom thought she should have then my Mom punished her for that. In turn, I followed my Mom and am as equally to blame.
Unfortunately it doesnt help me with why all this began 5 weeks before my Nan passed away.
Question Author
Hey Daisy, thanks.

I really have struggled with not seeing her during this time. I struggled with the reasons, I struggled because at my Grandads funeral service I said to my Grandad that I would look after my Nan. I know he was worried about her when he died and I took it upon myself to take on that mantle.
I guess Ive been grieving for my Nan since I last saw her. I feel very guilty about not looking after her and I feel ashmed that I didnt keep my promise that I made to my Grandad.
I just cant get my head around the fact that I lost my chance. I wish I followed that urge to go and see her. She may have told me to do one but I would have known that I tried. Its just hard to explain.
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I can understand where you are coming from. I was in a very similar situation with my mother. Even now some 40 years later, we don't get on Sometimes I felt that it was jealousy because I was closer to my nan than my mum.
Church? - forget it! You get no answers from them. I know. Been there, done that, got the teeshirt to prove it.
Vicars, priests have only their own self interest at heart.
I was told "It is a mystery - wait until you get to heaven".
I read the Bible and after much searching I know the truth now and for the past 25 years am happy and more at peace with myself.
The Bible is NOT religion. It is God's word. Take the time to read it for yourself and pray. You will get the answer and it may not be the one you want or expect, but act in line with your prayer and you too can have the peace that I now experience.

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