The elders came from all the world’s major religions, but many had one thing in common: They recommend faith of some kind as an invaluable tool for getting through rough patches in life. Coming from the Christian tradition, Cecile described how she learned this life lesson:
We had great difficulties pretty early in our marriage. My husband had heart problems as a young man. He came home and of course heart patients are known for depression after heart surgery, and he became depressed and that was very, very difficult for me. And that’s when faith came in. I mean we had gone to church ever since we’d been married, the whole family, but that’s when I truly, truly knew that I needed God totally in my life, I couldn’t handle this on my own. And God was preparing me for the death of my son. My son had also become more committed to faith in God shortly before he died, at age 19, in a car accident. I had four younger ones at home.
Faith in God helped me again when my husband had his heart attack 10 years ago. He died the way he wanted to die. It was a shock even though I knew that the day was coming, because he always had heart problems. I miss him terribly, but I know we all have to die, and I know he’s home with God, and that’s just a blessing. If it wasn’t for God, I don’t know – I just have a beautiful life right now.