When my daughter died, everyone wanted to know what could they do. How could they help me feel better? What would make this easier?
Their questions confused me. During the darkest days of my life, it seemed impossible to feel better. I could think of nothing that would cheer me up. It took some time for me to realize what I really needed was the opposite.
After my baby died, I didn’t need anyone to cheer me up–I needed to be sad.
Even now, three years later, and I cringe when people tell me to think positively about the death of my daughter. I don’t want to do that.
I don’t want to hear everything happens for a reason. I don’t want to find the silver lining. I do not want to look for the blessings in disguise.
I want to be sad.
I want to be sad that my baby died and I don’t want anyone to convince me otherwise. I do not need help finding the bright side of losing a baby, because there isn’t one.
My daughter’s death is a tragedy. She did not die for some greater purpose. Her death was not part of some plan to make me a better person.
My baby died and it sucks.
Feeling this way does not mean I’m a negative person–it means I’m real. It means that I am in touch with the very complicated and often depressing emotions that come with losing the one you love more than anything. There are those who view this vulnerability as a weakness. Clearly, they have no idea the strength it takes to walk through the world when a piece of you is missing.
Only those who have lost a child understand the true optimism of moving forward in a life that will never be complete.
I am not broken.
I don’t need fixing. I don’t need positive affirmations or encouragement to keep my chin up. I’m not sad because I have a bad attitude–I’m sad because my baby died.
My baby died. I miss them.
I did not choose this life for myself. I am not in this situation because of a lack of prayer or good vibes. I’m living this life because sometimes awful things happen. Moments exist that are out of our control. I know it’s scary. I know there is a temptation to cover up the fear with happy thoughts.
I don’t want to hide behind a fake smile.
I don’t want to pretend that I’m better off without my baby. I don’t want to lie and tell you that time will heal my wounds. I don’t believe that I can control my life by thinking positively.
What do I believe?
I believe in the power of authentic emotions. I believe that people should be praised for being genuine and vulnerable. I believe that it is sad when babies die and I shouldn’t be ridiculed for feeling that way.
When I’m sad, I want to be sad. When I’m happy, I want to be happy. And sometimes, I’m going to be both. It’s okay for me to have feelings. It’s okay for everyone to have feelings. And when someone is feeling down, they shouldn’t be forced to look for the bright side.
Because when it comes to losing a baby, the bright side will never be found.