Chapter 1: Grief responses to suffering and death

Finding meaning

I don’t look at life the same way anymore. I am so much more aware of how precious my friends and family are and how much they mean to me.- Canadian paramedic


Dying, death and grief may challenge the way you see the world, as well as your beliefs and assumptions. A difficult death, multiple deaths, or the world so transformed in the aftermath of a tragic event may raise questions in your mind about:

  • Your place in the universe.

  • Your faith, religious or spiritual beliefs.

  • Your tendency to see the world as a safe and predictable place.

  • Your trust in others.

  • Your ability to make sense of events.

These existential questions may elude simple, definitive answers at the best of times. They’re even more challenging in the face of multiple, tragic or incomprehensible deaths.