I’ve often talked about how those spiritual/existential questions are the ones that keep us up at night. The one question we ask over and over and over again: Why?? Why him? Why her? Why me? And beyond that we want to know where they are. Can they hear us? Do they know what’s happening here? Is there really life after death? Is everything I’ve always believed true? Do I still believe the same things? How can I *KNOW*?
Someone – somewhere – once said that grief is learning to live without the answers. That is WAY easier said than done, but I think it’s appropriate. We simply cannot have the answers to any of those questions this side of the grave. So what to do…
We can – at some point – accept the fact that we will never know. That’s the hard part. I don’t know about you, but I hate not knowing. I’m the kind of person who reads the last page of a novel before reading the book. I have to know the right answers. I have to know what comes next. It’s a control thing. And in death and in grief, we have little or no control. Just accepting what has occurred and knowing there is nothing we can do about it is a challenge, to say the least!
We can settle into previously held religious or spiritual beliefs about how the universe works. We hold on to what we’ve been taught or what we truly believe. We take comfort in the tenets and knowledge and systems that are in place and we lean on those.
We can develop a new belief system or understanding of how the universe works. Maybe the fact that our person died has changed how we view what we always thought was true. After seeking and reading and discussing, we find that our beliefs have changed or emerged or strengthened in some way and we find comfort in that.
The path to finding a sense of comfort and peace from any belief system takes time. These are questions we ask continually after someone we love dies. It is the protest against their death and the lack of concrete reasons that makes grief such a gut-wrenching, soul-wrenching challenge. I wish I had the easy answers, but I don’t. No one does. And that’s the issue…
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Copyright 2014 Lisa B. Wolfe, Translating Grief, LLC