Chapter 3: Common experiences

Will life be meaningful again?

I've been there
Aimee and Mishi talk about finding meaning in life and work.(3:22)Video transcript

We want our lives to have purpose and meaning and to make sense. Death challenges this need and we may ask ourselves difficult questions:

  • I always saw myself as a wife - who am I now?
  • I don't recognize myself anymore. Why am I reacting this way?
  • Why did he get that terrible illness?
  • Why did this happen to me and my family?

Exploring these questions can give rise to despair and hopelessness, yet these concerns are natural and to be expected. They are an effort to rebuild a sense of meaning and purpose in life. This is a challenging task but it can be done.

Some questions are useful. Others probably are not. The "why" questions are the most difficult because they seldom have answers. Asking "why" over and over will probably lead to more pain. You may become "stuck" in your grief. Eventually, you will ask these questions less frequently and feel more settled with what is.