We struggle to make meaning of our losses and to comprehend what may feel like senseless tragedy.

We may pose what are rich and possibly unanswerable questions as we yearn for explanations.

We may find support and healing in the ideas, rituals, and traditions of our faith or philosophy. For others the death of a loved one often moves them to examine, to question, and sometimes to move away from their spiritual beliefs.

              Bereaved individuals who did not embrace a spiritual belief system or who have withdrawn from a religious doctrine or belief may find themselves urgently seeking answers to existential questions such as:

  • Does God exist?
  • Why is there suffering?
  • Is there an afterlife?
  • Why did this have to happen?

              Many times when a loved one dies, those who grieve for them find themselves angry with God or a Higher power of their understanding. They may:

  • Feel a deep sense of unfairness at a person having to die at this time.
  • Feel furious that their loved one and they have been unduly punished in this way.
  • Ask how God could allow their loved one to be in so much pain?

In the midst of grief there are activities which can bring one comfort and peace.

For those who are part of a faith community solace and fellowship may be found in sacred services or gatherings. Members of a congregation or spiritual community may embrace and support the grieved person and that can be nourishing and restorative.

              For anyone there can be:

  • Spiritual teachings
  • Music
  • Silent contemplation
  • And other activities which provide inspiration and balm for the soul.

Some steps which a grieved individual can take are:


This can be a source of sustenance and provide a sense of connection in a person's life. Even if it has not done so before it may now offer the bereaved person some strength.


This involves focusing attention inward and encompasses a variety of techniques

which assist in developing:

  • mindfulness
  • concentration
  • tranquility
  • insight.

This may incorporate guided imagery and visualization.


This can be a powerful way of finding meaning in loss and also provide a method for connecting physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual expression. Rituals can be healing for both body and soul.

They can be symbolic affirmations that a significant change has taken place and enable the bereaved person(s) to create a sense of balance and focus in the midst of overwhelming feelings.

They can help us remember love ones in ways which allow for self reflection and to connect with others even as we find the strength and courage to continue on our journey.


Many grieving individuals have feelings of guilt, regret, anger, and resentment toward the one who has died or towards themselves. Forgiveness of self and the loved one can serve to release people from the chains which prevent them from healing.

Any or all of those may deepen ones sense of spiritual connection.