When someone we love dies, especially at a young age or by violent means, our whole belief system often gets a massive shake up. The certainty that we once knew has gone. That foundation we depended on is no longer stable and true. We find ourselves in a strangely altered new world.

Our faith becomes a target and gets an overhaul.  We want to know why, and we ask the question over and over.   The meaning in our life has gone and we wonder what it’s all about anyway.  We cannot believe that our God has allowed this to happen.  The questioning keeps on; as we attempt to find the answers, we so badly want. Oh how we wish we could get some relief and bring some understanding into the darkness we find ourselves in.

After a great deal of soul searching, many of us will find that our faith does indeed sustain us in our grief.  However, there are many I know where the opposite has been sadly true. 

I was sent to church as a small child, to learn about a religion and a God that judged, condemned and punished. I heard about the wrath of God every single week.  I learned to fear and feel guilty. I myself believed for quite some time, after my son died, that I was being punished by God. I know many of you do too, you have told me.  It doesn’t matter whether it was something that happened years ago or last week. We believe that is why.  Our faith is not sustaining us then, quite the opposite. 

Some have found that the community of faith to which they belong was not able to be there for them.   Those whom they expected would be their greatest support could not help them.  It was devastating for them and their disappointment was palpable.  

I can now say that my belief sustains me in so many ways.  My faith gives me strength when I feel like falling down. I am comforted by the knowing that I will see my son again. I am part of a community if I so seek.  My questions are answered and my path is illuminated. I am inspired each day to live by my faith and by my heart.  My faith truly does sustain me….now.

 Maureen Hunter 2011

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Maureen Hunter

In 2006, Maureen Hunter was working in a small country town in Western Australia. It was a day like any other. That night her 18-year-old son was critically injured in a car accident, dying five days later in hospital. That experience was to change her life forever. Working for many years as a Registered Nurse in acute care settings and palliative care, as well as losing both her parents to cancer, Maureen believed she understood what grief was. That was until she lost her youngest son. Reeling from that sudden and devastating loss, she spent a month away to process her grief and allow herself some healing time. During long periods of contemplation and reflection, it became very clear to her then that she would use her own experience of grief to help others. Maureen is now committed to doing just that through her website, www.esdeer.com. She provides comfort, hope and inspiration through her writings and Stepping through Grief resources and programs. She writes regularly on grief, healing, resilience and spirituality and is the creator of “Stepping through Grief: the 7 Steps Pathway,” a step-by-step process which helps individuals step through grief to find meaning in their lives once more. Recently interviewed on blog talk radio, Maureen shares her experiences of grief openly with others and is passionate about using her own experience to make a difference to those struggling with the loss of a loved one. She is a regular contributor to The Compassionate Friends local newsletter as well as being a phone contact in her local area for bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents. Living in the beautiful southwest wine region of Western Australia with her partner, Maureen enjoys the magic of sandy white beaches, ocean waves and a glass of chilled white wine. She says, “In nature, my soul is stilled and I find in times of contemplation my creativity emerges. If what I write and share with others, helps them in any way, then that is what matters most to me, that is what inspires and motivates me. As I enjoy the inherent beauty of this part of the world, I know that Stuart is there with me, by my side, guiding and supporting.” If grief has touched your life, or someone you know, please accept this FREE inspirational guide with my love: “Opening the Door to Hope….Helping you Step through Grief" at www.esdeer.com/hope For more information about Maureen’s Stepping through Grief resources and programs, visit www.esdeer.com

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