He was the eldest grandchild so he spoke first.
I didn’t kill her.
Of course, you did, came their quick retort!
H responded, I told you, I had my test one week before coming to visit her.
They shouted back, yes, but you were supposed to test four days before coming.
Well, nobody told me that. And all of you are just as guilty as I am.
I shook my head in bewilderment. This family was tearing at each other about who killed their grandma.
Their grandmother had died from complications of coronavirus. They were accusing each other one by one of being the culprit in her death. The truth be told, it was impossible to determine who actually brought the virus to this elderly woman if anyone at all had done it.
But they all felt guilty. Each of them justified the necessity and the urgency of visiting. it was a brief visit on a special holiday. They were certain that if they did not visit, they would never get to see their grandmother again. So, they were all willing to risk it. Six of them were in the room. There were another ten grandchildren waiting outside in cars.
It’s not my fault, declared the eldest grandson. I told you that we should just stay home and not visit her. I was going to visit her myself and just give each of you a report of how she was progressing. But you all insisted on seeing her for yourself. And now she is dead!
This was his attempt to lay the burden and guilt of her death on the other 5 grandchildren.
It did not work. All of them had credible excuses. Each of them claimed they had been tested just a few days before driving the 600 plus miles or boarding the airplanes. Each of them claimed they had been tested just a few days before their departures. No one was to blame. At the same time, each one of them tugged to pull their faces masks more secure, covering their noses and chins. I am sure they wanted to hide their entire faces in shame. Grandma was dead.
This is the scenario I recently encountered in clinic. I knew very well I could not sort this out. So, I didn’t even try. God gave me the wisdom of Solomon. That is how to divide the right from the wrong and provide peace in this pain.
“Listen family , I said; Your grandmother would be greatly distressed that any one of you would blame another one of you for the cause of her death. She knew in her 95 years that her life was in God’s hands. She would want you to know that nothing you could do could extinguish her life. She would not be pleased that you are assuming guilt or casting blame. Be at peace is what she would say. And I am reminding you of the fact but only God gives and takes away life. “
They listened attentively and the tension in the room ceased. The youngest granddaughter Asked me, Doctor Johnson, do you mean it is not our fault that our grandmother died?
I responded as softly as I could. We all bear responsibility for our actions. We all must do the best to protect one another from illness and disease. We must behave in ways that are known to protect others, even when it is not convenient to our beliefs, our understanding of the science or even our own interests. We all bear that responsibility. However, your grandmother was the daughter loved by the Most-High God. Her life has always been in his hands. He never relinquished His charge of her life to you or any agent be it disease or accident. He gave her those many years to be with you and now He has called her to be with him. Be at peace. No one is to blame.
John 11:21 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. 21Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.