Why did you have to die?

by Paul Muth
(Washington DC)

I am a therapist in Washington DC who came upon this website while searching for a resource to introduce a client to the 7 stages of grief. I decided to tell my story, because the project I had my client do was about writing, and the healing part of that. his wife was recently taken by cancer, and we had just talked around the tree I had planted in honor of her life....we marveled at how the tree, after being told by those who sold it to me would not blossom this first year, was bursting with orange blossoms since she passed away. Miracles occur daily, and I am a standing testament.
I have lived around death since my first breath. My real Mother had leukemia at my birth and lived only until I was 9 months old. I returned the sole survivor of a Black Flagged unit in Vietnam, records burned and lost and unit unknown and undecorated. My dreams of a 13 year old Vietnamese soldier were not verifiable because of the sealing of the records. My wife committed suicide in 2001, my Foster Daughter died in 2000 of a blood clot in the brain. My Father died of massive organ failure due to alcoholism in 2002. My other long term relationships from my youth both committed suicide in 2003. My step mother died in 2009. I am the patriarch of the family after many deaths.
Drug addiction and alcoholism have taken their toll. The recent break up after years between me and who I feel is my soul mate FEELS like death. I am ALIVE, and although I question the why and the how, it is a fact. I need to look at this and understand that I am here for a very specific purpose. Angels DO live among us, and those of us who have fallen ARE given opportunities to earn our wings back. I know it is difficult to believe, but it is much more than just a cute TV story. Help us. let us, finish our jobs. It is a way to give us peace, and it pleases the Big Guy immensely.

Comments for Why did you have to die?

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Jul 26, 2013
why did you have to die
by: silver

If I had a penny for each time I said or felt those words I would be rich. Dear Paul, like you, I am still reeling from multiple deaths of loved ones. It began when my baby sister died in 2001.We were so close that it tore my heart apart. Then, it really began to fall apart in December 2009 when my dad died.My friend of 28 yrs died 6 months later on May 2010. My mom died the next month (June 2010). Eleven months later on May 29 2011, my husband of 33 years died. I didn't have time to grieve for one before the next one hit. It has been two years since my husband's death and I still have episodes of grief. Before I go on I would like to tell you how proud a lot of us Americans are proud of those who's fought for freedom despite the losses to them. Since my family have died I began to realize how short life is and I tell all my loved ones every time I talk to them that I love them. I admire you for how you are coping as well as you are. I believe in GOD and I believe that we will see them again one day. In the meantime take care of yourself GOD send you strength and peace. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Jul 21, 2013
Dear Paul,
by: Pat in Missouri

As I read your post, I couldn't help but think of my father, whose name was also Paul. He died in 2011 just 3 weeks after my brother died. Then, my fiance' died 3 months later. I understand how you feel about trying to deal with multiple deaths.

None of us really knows why things happen the way they do in our lives. Perhaps, God plans challenges things for us to make us stronger. You obviously have gained strength through your losses and are using it to help others. You have the first-hand knowledge of the pain that comes with death. I bet you are a wonderful therapist.

I also agree with you about the presence of angels. When my fiance' was seriously ill and I went to the hospital 1 day to see him, as I walked to his room, I heard an overhead page announcing a "code blue." That code blue was my Frank. As I got closer to his room, I saw 1/2 an angel with only the right wing. It was clear as day right in front of me on the hospital wall. My Frank made it through that code. I never told him about seeing the 1/2 angel, but several weeks later he told me he had seen the left side of an angel. I then told him about my vision. I think it was a sign. Not long after that, my Frank succombed to death. As I sat with his body and felt it going cold, I saw an angel, with both wings, over the top of the trauma room door, in the hospital ER room, come and take my Frank through the door. All I saw was a door opening, but it was a door of white light and peace. The angel carried my Frank through that door. I knew, then, that he had gone to Heaven. One of the nurses told me that many patients and caregivers report the same kind of thing.

I hope it will bring you some peace to know that there really are angels among us and I am sure they are surrounding you to support you and your work in helping others.

There is a spiritual component that comes with grief. All 3 of the loved ones I lost were very spiritual people. I miss their physical presence badly, but I do feel their spirits and even hear their voices occasionally. I am also a trained counselor, but training does little to help us through our grief. I do find it comforting to use this site to communicate with others who are going through the same thing.

The prayer of St. Francis of Assisi ends with the phrase of "in dying, we are born to eternal life." That's the interesting thing about death. It is simply part of the life cycle. I think the angels we see are the eternal lives of our loved ones who no longer live on this earth, but live in the Eternal Light of Heaven. To dare to answer your question "why did you have to die" I think only the flesh dies. The spirit is still with us. That gives me some comfort. Everyone deals with grief differently. I truly hope that you find what you are looking for in your own grief. I send you many blessings. I hope you will write back and let us know how you are doing. Pat

Jul 20, 2013
Why did you have to die?
by: Doreen U.K.

Paul after reading your post again I was able to process it more. You survived so much and yet live to tell the tale. You therefore question Why are you here? but at the same time coming to the realisation that your work here is not done. You seem to have come to terms with the reality of all your losses without bitterness. Amazing! When my sister found out I tried to end my life many times but was saved every time she wondered why her son was not saved from throwing himself in front of an express train 7yrs ago. Human nature would question why I was saved and her son not? in the same way you had a miracle of being the only one to be saved in war and come back from Vietnam. You do have a mission here and you are fulfilling this. I prayed as a desperate woman for my husband of 44yrs. to be healed of a deadly cancer. He died 14 months ago and I was devastated to see him draw his last breath, whilst waiting patiently for my miracle. Had I not been in therapy a few years I might not be coping better than I would have been had I not had this healing. BUT. Lonliness is now the battle I face.
Sadly you have just lost a relationship you say feels like a death and I am sorry for yet another loss to you. Even with all the skills you have developed through your training you still endure what we all do which is the Grief and lonliness you now face. Some people have more suffering than others but it is only if we make comparisons that one can become bitter. You don't sound bitter. You come across as a caring compassionate person which I feel is borne out of great adversity. This is the positive side of grief. But you will still have those down days we all have and you will cry and be sad for a while. Divorce and the end of a relationship may hurt more because you have to deal with so many more emotions and questions e.g. Rejection, blame, guilt, fear of failure different to the grief from death. But I guess we will go on hurting till the end of our lives all part of living in a fallen world. I do believe angels walk among us. I am comforted by this. May you be comforted by God through all your losses. God be with you and Bless your life and your life's work.

Jul 20, 2013
Why did you have to die?
by: Doreen U.K.

Paul I am so very sorry for all the many losses in your life and for that adversity that has continued for most of your life.
Even being a therapist and having skills and answers from your training and life experiences will not leave you immune from the suffering we go through as members of the human race. But in reality IT HURTS. Before I did the therapy bit for myself I used to think that therapists had a magic wand and would make it all better. Even although in many ways they do, I got a reality check. that meant. HEY YOU ARE just like me with flesh and you suffer as I do. I didn't know how my therapist was going to make it better. But I learnt about boundaries and all one needs to move forward and I did. Then you get some therapists who may feel. Hey what am I doing here? What will people think? I am supposed to have all the answers and people come to me for healing of a type so what will they think? Well this was a great lesson I learned also. therapists and counsellors go through the same problems and they hurt and they need support also. I am a Christian so I understand Life, and Death being part of life. But what I cannot understand is Why does death and parting have to hurt so much?
Death is like a slow haemorrhage and I wonder when it will stop. You have had so much death to deal with and you have such a positive attitude to life. YES! You are Alive! this is good, You also do good for other people through your life's work and choice of profession. But I guess through your work you Heal from helping other's and the secret lies here. Which is what this site is all about. CREATIVE GRIEVING. You are right. We do have a purpose for being here and some of us find this through our adversity in life. It all depends on FOCUS. When this is right side up then we can move on and we will find our wings. THANK YOU! FOR your encouraging post and I am sorry for all your losses in life. May God Comfort you and give you His Peace, and Bless You throughout Life.

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