More Questions Than Answers

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                “More Questions Than Answers” 

              Funny the way it is, if you think about it                                                       Somebody’s going hungry and someone else is eating out                                                            Funny the way it is, not right or wrong                                                             Somebody’s broken heart becomes your favorite song

             Funny the way it is, if you think about it                                                                  One kid walks ten miles to school, another’s dropping out                                                             Funny the way it is, not right or wrong                                                                     On a soldier’s last breath, his baby’s being born                                                                                                                                    – Dave Matthews

As a Celebrant at Morrissett, I sit down with families in need of putting together a memorial service. I also engage with grieving families after the service as the Director of Aftercare. There are questions that often haunt grief-stricken minds. Many of those same questions have occupied my thoughts for years. Those questions usually begin with, “Why is it that…?” Dave Matthews poses the same thought as a statement, “Funny the way it is…”. I have found over the years that I have few answers for myself, or those who are so deeply grieving. Dave Matthews uses the word “funny”, not as “Ha-ha funny”, but, “How strange is that funny?”. His choice of words is a reminder of just how oddly cruel and unfair life can be. Whenever I go back to the question, “Why is it that…?”, my question always begins with the person to whom I am asking, “God…Why is it that…?” I discovered long ago that I will never solve that mystery. Yet, I still ask. We all ask, because broken hearts need to ask.

Not long ago I served as a pastor/celebrant for a twenty-five-year old young woman who hit a deer one night, disabling her car in the middle of the highway. A young couple saw her and stopped to help. Another car happened upon the accident scene. Swerving to miss her disabled car, she and the couple were struck by the car and killed. Four people died that night. The young woman was carrying her unborn child.                 “God…Why is it that…?”

I sat one morning with a grieving mother, her eyes revealing she was still in shock. The stormy night before her six-year-old boy was crushed while asleep when an uprooted tree came crashing through his bedroom roof. “God…Why is it that…?”

In the casket lies a man who died from lung cancer. He never smoked a day in his life, but he grew up in a home of chain smokers taking in fatal second-hand smoke.    “Funny the way it is…”.

The only answer I can come up with is, “Because it just is. It’s the agony and the ecstasy of life; the freakish nature of nature, both human and non-human.” There is one thing of which I am absolutely convinced; that tragic, seemingly senseless death is not God’s punishment or curse. We humans crave control. We live in a culture addicted to attaching blame; hooked on the fast-food mentality of quick and convenient answers. The reality is that there are always more questions than answers. Always. “Funny the way it is…”.

The victorious part of the grieving process is living and loving with those unanswered questions. It’s being able to walk through that dark tunnel toward the light never knowing the answer to the question, “Why?” That’s why I highly recommend support groups. These communities of hurting hearts facilitate emotional release and encouragement in a safe place where we can laugh, cry or just stare out into space all in the same meeting. And, though we don’t have all the answers, we begin to discover that we can live productively in this “new normal” of more questions than answers.

We may feel that life never really gets better – just different.

And that’s O.K. “Funny the way it is…”. 

Greg Webber

Director, Community Care/Aftercare                                                                       Certified Celebrant                                                                                                       6500 Iron Bridge Rd.                                                                                          Chesterfield, VA 23234                                                                                                 804-275-7828 (office)                                                                                                   804-873-0441 (cell)                                                                       

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