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Why Did This Have to Happen?

One of the most difficult issues that you may face when you are grieving is  making sense or meaning of your loss; the common question, “Why did this have to happen?” is really asking about meaning.

As you grapple with this question, these key points may be helpful.

Remember that finding meaning or making sense of a loss is an individual process. What gives others comfort may not be helpful for you. Talking with others who have experienced loss can be useful in helping to find your own meaning, but don’t  be troubled if you cannot find support in the thoughts that comfort them.

Search your own spirituality and beliefs. Everyone has a personal way of understanding the world; that understanding is the center of our spirituality. Ask how your  spirituality and faith beliefs can help you make sense of the loss in a way that is meaningful for you.

Focus on the connections and legacies. All the people you grieve for have touched your life in some way: through shared memories, or new appreciations and skills you have gained. These legacies, as well as other connections we find in our own spirituality, These connections and legacies can help to reassure you that they still remain a part of your life, and can help you find meaning even in the most difficult losses. 

Developed from Journeys with Grief: A Collection of Articles about Love, Life and Loss, edited by Kenneth J. Doka, Ph.D., MDiv., copyright Hospice Foundation of America, 2012.