Thomas was inconsolable. His grief overwhelmed him. He could not understand how his beloved Nara was gone. Followed by a seemingly concerned Pipi, he again ran outside, back to the creek to scream and yell at God. Tumu, Nara’s father, followed after Him. He kept some distance out of respect for Thomas. When Tumu sensed that Thomas was done yelling and screaming, he went over to him and put his arm around him. Thomas laid his head on his father-in-law’s shoulder and wept bitterly. Tumu wept with him. They sat by the still-flowing creek consumed with grief for several minutes with Pipi laying by their side.
Finally, Thomas pulled back, looked Tumu in the eyes and honestly informed him that he did not know if he would be able to go on. Thomas expressed his anger and grief while Tumu kept a hand on his shoulder and listened. He expressed that he thought God would heal Nara and that He told him that all would be alright.
After Thomas’s ranting, Tumu compassionately recounted the blessing that he gave to Nara. He felt a deep piercing sorrow that he was not to heal her, but emphatically felt that the blessing needed to be one of release. Thomas looked at him with rage and grief in his eyes and angrily exclaiming how could he do that, it was not his position or right to bless her with a release. Tumu calmly counseled Thomas that Nara was his daughter before she was Thomas’s wife therefore he was still entitled to inspiration regarding her. He informed Thomas that he wished that he could have pronounced a blessing of healing, but that the spirit spoke definitively to his heart and mind that she was needed on the other side of the veil. In fact, he saw his daughter’s spirit as he gave the blessing, similar to how Noah described her spirit.
He reminded Thomas that Nara still lives and loves him and that all of them were mourning her death. He expressed to Thomas how much he loved him and how proud he was to have him for a son, and that he would always consider Thomas as his son. Thomas hugged Tumu and told him that he loved him and thanked him for righteously raising Nara. He apologized for not being as spiritual and in-tune as he was and then thanked him for his patience. The two men hugged again and then walked back to Thomas’s home with Pipi following behind.
Three days after Nara’s death, a memorial service was held to celebrate her short but influential life. People from all over came to say good-bye and to console Thomas and their families. Even the king and queen traveled for the service. Thomas gave the queen the beautiful blanket Nara had recently finished. The queen was deeply touched that Nara finished the blanket before her passing. Tears came to her eyes as she appreciated the excellent workmanship of the blanket and that Nara was no longer there to share her amazing gifts.
One of the prophets, Sam, and his wife also traveled to the memorial service. Seeing the grief, anger, and pain in Thomas’s eyes, Sam hugged Thomas and expressed his concern. He reminded Thomas that he fully understood grief as he lost his little sister as a very young boy and he also lost one of his daughters. Thomas acknowledged Sam’s grief as everyone knew his story and how he conquered his grief and pain. He told Thomas of a painting a family member painted for him that he received after his sister passed away. The picture was of heavenly angels greeting his sister as she went through the veil and showed the happiness and excitement on her face. In the background of the painting were Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother smiling with delight as they waited their turn to see their daughter who had just returned. Sam reflected on the peace that the painting brought to him. He knew that even though he would terribly miss his sister, and still missed his sister, she was happy and peaceful. He knew that she wanted him to be happy. Sam recounted how the painting brought him peace when his daughter died from a tragic accident.
Although Thomas heard Sam speak, his grief was too immense to comprehend his words, until Sam mentioned that his daughter died from an unexpected accident. Thomas looked up at him, pleading tears streaming down his face and asked if he would ever be able to find peace. He told Sam how he was so grief-stricken and angry at God. He wondered if there was even a God because how could a kind-loving God not bless him with children, then take his beloved Nara from him.
Sam’s wife, Rona, with tears in her eyes and Sam watching, gently put her hand on Thomas’s shoulder and let him cry. She calmly expressed that she completely understood his anger as that is how she felt when their daughter died. He was shocked and surprised that even Rona, who was well-known for her spirituality, could be angry at God. He asked her how she finally healed her anger. Rona revealed that it took her several months; she received several blessings, looked at her husband’s painting almost daily, and continued to pray, even though she continued to feel intense anger and had no yearning desire to pray. Rona informed Thomas that eventually the anger diminished, the grief and pain subsided, although those emotions never entirely left. She informed him that her faith in God returned as the plan and mission for her daughter was slowly revealed to her and Sam. She assured Thomas that he could receive inspiration from a loving Heavenly Father to know what His plan for Nara would be. She promised that receiving that information would bring a profound peace to his troubled soul.
Thomas hugged Rona and Sam, thanked them for their generous words, and for sharing their experiences with him. He actually began to feel some hope; maybe he could work through his grief and anger and feel normal again.
After the service and burying Nara, Thomas continued to work in his woodshop. He created another carving of Nara, this one was about one foot tall; depicting her standing with her left arm reaching out. Nara reached out to so many people and he wanted a carving to remember her sweet goodness.
Several months after Nara’s death, though Thomas continued to work through his grief and anger, he felt unsure that he was making any progress. David and Mary were heartbroken as they watched their son weighed down with his grief. They occasionally offered help and support to Thomas, but was rarely open to their suggestions or concerns.
One frigid day during the cold season, a messenger came to Thomas’s home with a large bundle from the prophet Sam and Rona. Thomas, excitedly opened the package. He stared in unbelief as he gazed upon the painting that Sam described at Nara’s funeral. It was breathtaking, beautiful, awe-inspiring! Thomas could hardly believe that Sam would send his cherished painting to him. He studied the girl in the painting and even though she was Sam’s little sister, there was a striking resemblance to Nara. He looked at the angels surrounding the girl and wondered how many angels surrounded Nara when she died. He thought there would have been many since Nara was so influential and well-liked. Thomas then spent several minutes staring at who he thought would be Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. He saw love in their eyes. He noticed excitement in seeing one of their daughters again.
He reflected on the anger that he had held for so long towards God. He recognized God’s love in the painting, so he wondered why was he still so angry?
He leaned the painting against a wall that was near the cradle he created for Nara. After staring at it for a few more minutes, he put on a warm tunic, walked to his parents’ home, told them about the painting, and requested that they come look at it. They quickly put on warm clothes and walked the short distance to Thomas’s home.
They were awestruck at the intricate detail of the painting. David wondered if the artist still painted as he would like to commission some paintings from him. He informed Mary that he would send a message to Sam to find out more about the artist. Mary quickly agreed.
Thomas, putting his arms around his parents, apologized for all the anger and depression that he had been experiencing for so long. He told them that he could see God’s unconditional love in his eyes in the painting, his parents quietly agreed. Thomas expressed his concern that he still could not completely get through his anger. He asked them for help and even requested a blessing from his father, who eagerly complied.
(To be continued…)