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Unanswered Questions and Sudden Death

Jesse David & Taylor Mom

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Jesse David & Taylor Mom

This article spoke to me...I have had two child losses, one infant and the loss of my beloved 28 year old...



As a clergy-person, I counsel families who endure such tragedies as explosions, plane and car crashes, murders, suicides, earthquakes, tornadoes and other catastrophes where there are no forewarnings.

Death is almost always a trauma; a shock to survivors. Sudden death ranks among the most severe traumas. One moment our life seems secure; the next, the world crumbles before our very eyes. The assault on our emotions makes it difficult to believe and accept. For life is taken so suddenly with a bewildering sense of unreality and powerlessness. Our plans, our dreams, and our role in life abruptly and devastatingly are altered.

More than any life cycle event, sudden death raises profound issues about good and evil and reward and punishment. We may feel like we have been physically kicked in the stomach and spiritually violated with gnawing unresolved questions gripping our soul.

When unexpected crises shatter lives, people of all faiths often ask the same questions: "Is it God's will?" "Did God make it happen?" "Was God angry at my loved one?" or "Is God trying to punish me?" "Don't you get what you deserve?" "Is God testing my faith?" "If God's will is for life, why did this terrible death occur?"

People may call God's justice and mercy into question: "What kind of God would allow this to happen?" "Why didn't God intervene with just a tiny miracle?" "Or at least warn him or her?" "Shouldn't good people be rewarded for the wonderful things they do and evil people punished?"

We may even question our own sense of worth and wish we had died instead because we "deserved" death more than our loved one.

Did you know that some of the greatest spiritual leaders have asked the exact questions when feeling abandoned, forsaken, cheated by God? When unexpected sorrows shatter lives, faith may flicker low as we struggle with doubts about God's love. But if we never had to struggle, our faith would not be challenged and enlarged. Questioning is a normal expression of anguish and consistent with later spiritual growth.

Mysteries will remain. Tragedy does not produce goodness but may reveal it with acts of kindness and generosity of the spirit from the faith community. We may find consolation in our Holy Scriptures and rituals. Our existence has been shaken but we may yet find in our journey of faith the ability to still affirm a meaningful life with a God who gives us life and is with us in death.


Put out by the Hospice Foundation of America

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This is a very good article.


I am a survivor of a terrible accident myself and also the deaths of my husband/daughter at Christmas. When suffering of any horrific nature changes your "normal" life into an emotional roller coaster, it is difficult to see anything in life that is good. My own near death and excruciating physical pain was nothing compared to the loss of my husband/daughter at one time.  Just to put one foot in front of the other, step by step, has been a process.  Yet, in and through everything has been the comfort and peace of God.  He did not take the pain away, but He walked with me through the pain and has allowed me to use the pain to encourage and comfort others.  What a blessing that is!

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hi everyone,


I have also counseled many grieving people in the USA and the Philippines, where I am a missionary. I have written an essay that may be helpful to those who are looking for answers.

Originally, I wrote this essay for a mother grieving the loss of her son in an accident who told me she needed answers. After reading my essay, she told me that she had found the answers she needed. She was able to go out with her family and enjoy an outing for the first time since the accident.


Here is part of the essay:

"When a loved one goes to the next world, he or she does not die; instead a part of us dies—our expectations! That something that died inside us is our expectations. We need to understand that we are not grieving the person who left this world and who is possibly experiencing eternal joy. We are grieving our expectations. Our expectations determine how traumatic our loss will be. "


This essay is part of my Kindle ebook, Overcoming Grief: And Other Essays on Discovering Joy. This essay is ALWAYS free to read through the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon. Here is the URL:




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