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Reform Magazine | October 21, 2017

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The eternal question: Why?

The eternal question: Why?

When disaster strikes, we find ourselves battling with the impossible 
question: Why? Ian Gregory looks for an answer

Hidden among the flowers at the crematorium is a pathetic, screamed note that just asks the terrible question: “WHY?” What happened? Was it an accident caused by a mechanical defect? Did an unknown medical condition catch up with an apparently healthy youngster? Did unrevealed personal problems bring somebody to suicidal despair?

Fate struck a capricious blow, taking an innocent victim and leaving loved ones in shock. After experts have examined the
reasons, all we can say is that great question, the agonised cry: “Why?”

Our natural instinct is to find somebody to blame. Did someone make a mistake? Was it exhaustion? Neglect? Mechanical fault? But there are heartbreaking tragedies which no conceivable precautions could have prevented and nobody could possibly be blamed for.

An inquest is held. A coroner records a verdict. There are funerals. People offer “thoughts and prayers” without knowing what exactly to think or pray. Flowers are laid at the scene. We are left with empty frustration that blind chance has dealt a senseless blow…

Ian Gregory is a retired church minister

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This is an extract from the June 2015 edition of Reform.

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