Grief can shake your faith - and faith doesn’t just refer to religion. We have faith in lots of things: in ourselves, in others, in the future. When someone dies, our faith in these things can be shaken. It may seem like the world will never be the same because your loved one is no longer in it. You may even wonder if you will be the same.
You may find yourself asking, “How could this happen to such a good person?” or “How can the world be so unfair?” Death challenges our beliefs. We may believe that if we work hard and are good people, we will be rewarded for it. Death challenges not only that belief, but may also challenge our spiritual beliefs and perspectives. Although it is natural to question the fairness of losing someone you love, it is important to remember that your loved one died of a medical cause, and that at some point, death is an unfortunate reality for everyone.
In addition to questioning your faith in fairness, you may start to question your faith in yourself. You may wonder “Who am I without my loved one?” This is especially likely if you and your loved one were close for many years. You may have trouble remembering who you were before that person became part of your life. We tend to define ourselves by the roles we play: spouse, child, parent, sibling, or friend. When someone dies, we may lose one or more of these important roles. In this situation, it is natural to feel upset, confused, sad, or even angry. Grief takes time because it involves accepting the loss of certain roles and redefining yourself.
During this time, it is important to remind yourself of what hasn’t changed. Although much has shifted, there are some constants in your life. Your remaining family and friends are a good start. Take comfort in what is stable.