What they are and how to deal with them
When the initial shock and numbness of losing a child wears off, we can be faced with a lot of questions. Many of these are “why” questions. I have categorized them into four groups: The Biggie, Feelings, Others’ Reactions, and “God” questions.
Why me? Why my baby? Why did this happen?
Or phrased a bit differently, but still the same question:
Why not me? Why can’t I have a healthy baby?
This is the “big” question because it’s the first one we ask and the one that we usually don’t get an answer to. If we continue to obsess over finding the answer to this question and don’t get one, it can cause anger, bitterness and for some, a turning away from God. It’s normal to have these feelings, but it blocks healing if we cannot let go of the question and move forward.
Why can’t I be like I used to be?
Why do I feel like I’m going crazy?
Why do I have to walk through this?
The feeling questions lead us through the healing phases of grief. Know this – You are NOT crazy, although you may feel like you are. You will never be like you used to be. Things will change and you will find a “new” normal. And, you MUST walk through your grief. Otherwise, it will bite you later.
Others’ Reactions Questions:
Why do my tears scare you?
Why won’t people talk about this?
Why can’t other people understand?
Why do people say dumb things?
Why won’t you say her/his name?
Why must I act like all’s okay for you to be around me?
Why don’t I feel that you’re there for me?
Others’ reactions are based on a variety of issues: fear (fear of death, saying the wrong thing, making you cry), insensitivity, lack of compassion, sheer ignorance, and trying to “fix” things. The best thing to do is cut these people some slack and be honest with them in a kind way. Most likely they have never walked in your shoes.
Why did God let this happen?
Why did God cause this?
God questions are difficult as there are so many things we don’t know, so we must trust God for the answer later. Until we join our baby in heaven, some answers must wait. For now, just put one foot in front of the other. We are called to live by faith. Work through your grief. Trust me, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and one day we will know the answers to all our questions.
First, make a list of all of the “why” questions you have for God. Then, as difficult as it may be, give them up to God. Do not dwell on them as you may or may not get answers to those questions now. You may want to put them in a special place like a decorative box and set the box aside. You may want to leave them at the altar at your church. Trust that you will get answers later when you can talk to God face-to-face.
Second, make a list of your “feeling” questions and share them with a grief counselor or support group.
And finally, work through your “others” questions with other people, but learn to be kind in the way you approach them. Know they really have no way of knowing what you are going through.