The death of a loved one is among life’s most difficult experiences, and it is a hard thing to accept and move forward from. Host Joe Sikorra has experienced loss and grief himself, and recently gave a beautiful reflection for those who are looking for answers after the loss of a dear friend. He said:
“You know intellectually that death is inevitable. You know from looking around, the evidence is there, that everyone is going to die at some point. It’s obvious. It’s clear. … But you still struggle with the question of ‘why.’ Why did he have to go?
You know that your friends are not invincible, but it doesn’t make it easier for you, does it? When they pass – maybe it’s sudden or maybe it’s after battling a long battle with a disease – looking for answers doesn’t necessarily alleviate the pain that you feel.
You might ask yourself, ‘How will I get through this? How is my life going to return to normal? Will it return to normal? Will I ever be able to laugh again? Will I have hope?
I think the answer to that is yes. But I think you also have to accept the fact that your life will be forever changed. Not changed for the worse. Maybe even at some point – though you can’t recognize it right now – you’ll say that you’re life has been changed for the better. Not necessarily because your friend passed, but because you had the opportunity to spend those precious days and months with that one you love so much, your friend.
And now they’re gone. And right now you’re left with just the sorrow and just the pain, and it’s hard for you to imagine that someday that will be alleviated. How do you get there?
Anytime you suffer a loss, you will be changed forever. Although right now you might not see any upside, there will be a time, perhaps, that you will find gratitude.
Maybe right now you’re struggling and you’re saying, ‘No, I’m just in the pain.’ And maybe your friend’s passing was six weeks ago, six months ago, decades ago – and you still haven’t been able to find the answer to the question Why? What do you do?
I remember my first real close experience with death, I was in the 8th grade. I was in a Catholic school, and that was really cool because I was surrounded by other people who didn’t necessarily give us or offer us the easy answers to ‘why.’ They said, ‘We can just be here. We don’t have to know why.’
Somehow (and I know this sounds crazy) there is something comforting about that. Because you’re going to be awfully anxious if you struggle just because you don’t have the answer to why. If you lose somebody, especially if they’re innocent and they’ve done nothing wrong, you’re going to have to learn how to deal with that. You’re going to have to learn how to calm yourself and say, ‘I can be OK. I don’t have to know. I know there’s a reason.’
But if you’re not you’re going to find that you’re either angry, or anxious, or depressed, or distant. Maybe because you’ve lost your best friend, you want to remove yourself from this life. Because you no longer find any joy or meaning in it. How do you do it? How do you learn how to cope?
There are answers. The first answer is: surround yourself with people you love, and that will love you, and that won’t necessarily try to give you the easy answer.
I believe that God has a plan. But I also believe that you might not understand God’s plan in this lifetime. God’s ways are deep and mysterious. We didn’t form the universe, by the way. We didn’t form humans. And one of the questions that Job asked in the book of Job was ‘Why is this happening?’ And God said, ‘Where were you, Job, when I formed the whale, when I placed the sun at the precise distance from the Earth?’
You ask ‘Why?’ and that’s a fair question, and I’m not here to give you an easy answer. But I want to talk about it, to be part of that circle of support for you, and to remind you that there is a purpose. God has a purpose. I want to encourage you to keep moving in your life, because you don’t have to know all the answers.”
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The Joe Sikorra Show airs weekdays from 5:00 – 7:00 a.m. Pacific on Immaculate Heart Radio.