Facing a major loss usually causes us to confront or even reconsider our basic beliefs about God, religion, death, and the afterlife. Some may turn to God for strength and comfort, while others find themselves questioning the religious beliefs they have known all of their lives.
Even those who have no religious upbringing may feel angry with God, or abandoned. Everyone responds to loss differently, but it almost always forces us to confront questions we may have been avoiding…about death…about God…about ourselves.
Many times a traumatic loss will leave those left behind feeling like they have been shaken to the core. It is these times that cause one to examine what is inside. In the depths of grief you may feel yourself doubting God. Regardless of your religious beliefs, it is common to ask ‘Why God?’ when tragedy strikes.
While some are left angry and questioning how God could allow this to happen, others find that their faith can actually be deepened during such a time.
A belief in God is not a guarantee against pain and suffering. Death is an unavoidable part of life; and faith can be there to help us get through our losses, but it cannot prevent them.
You may not understand or believe in God, or you may have conflicting feelings about the God you love, because you feel He has failed you. If you have unanswered questions, a pastor, rabbi, or priest can offer help. Seek the answers you need.
In a time of grief, it is common to struggle with our faith and beliefs. It can be helpful to be reminded that we live in a world in which tragedies happen, and sometimes there is no reasonable explanation when loss occurs.
Only you can decide what choice you will make when you feel yourself being tested. Remember that new faith often grows from grief.
Here are some suggestions:
· Consider talking to a minister, priest or rabbi. Counseling can be comforting and it can help you find answers to your questions. It may even renew your faith.
· Explore and question your values and beliefs. This process will strengthen some beliefs that you have known in the past and it may even form new ones.
· Make time in your day for prayer and meditation. This can be a great source of comfort and encouragement.
· Draw strength from your faith and others during this time. Think of your loss and grief as part of life’s uncertainties that challenge us.
Grief affects every aspect of our being- body, mind, and soul. As you work through it, take the opportunity to embrace your values and beliefs and let them guide you to healing.
The above information was adapted from the book Hope is Like the Sun: Finding Hope and Healing After Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death.