[Tweet “The question of theodicy: “Why do bad things happen to good people?””]Today we all heard the news of Robin Williams’ death through suicide. How sad. I do not read the news but I start my day by browsing Facebook, especially now that I’m in the last stretch of publishing my forthcoming book “Grieving Parents: Surviving Loss as a Couple”. The news feed today was full of Robin Williams’ pictures, quotes, movie references… a display of people’s love and admiration for his craft and talent of having an impact on people’s lives.
Reading about his death I noticed that, unbeknownst to me, he had depression and committed suicide. I had multiple conversations with people who said things like: “He was such an inspiring character, it’s unbelievable that he was depressed” or “He was so successful, I can’t believe he committed suicide.” It’s the question of theodicy, a topic I cover in my book:
The question of theodicy
“Why do bad things happen to good people?” is the most common version of the theological question around why evil is possible in this world. Religious parents are faced with the question why a good God permits the manifestation of evil, like the death of their child. Any variation of the post-loss “why” questions can become a way of amplifying loss. According to Dr. L. Michael Hall, by focusing on getting to acceptance as quickly as possible takes the semantic power out of the “why” question. If overused, the “why” question can become a way to amplify loss. [Read more…] about From Depression to Suicide