So many people are comforted by the idea that everything happens for a reason. For every bad moment that life delivers, there’s a lesson to be learned. I get why people think this way. It’s a lot easier to accept life’s hardships if we know something good will come from it. It’s a nice theory to believe in.
I used to believe this theory. When I didn’t get the job I interviewed for, it was because a better job was out there. When a relationship ended, it was because I needed time to work on myself. I could find a reason and a silver lining for any upsetting situation.
But when my baby died? I couldn’t find a single reason to justify her death. It seemed impossible to find a silver lining for such a tragic life event.
So imagine my surprise, and heartache, when others managed to find reasons for my baby dying.
“Now you know that you’re ready to be a mother.”
“She died to show you how much you loved her.”
“Maybe you weren’t really ready for a baby.”
“Her death will help you be grateful for what you have.”
And my personal favorite–“If she hadn’t died, your other daughter wouldn’t be here.”
According to those around me, my daughter died because I had lessons to learn. She was sent to me and taken away so that I could become a better person.
That pissed me off.
I’m fine with growing as a person, but what did I do to deserve such a cruel test? I already had experienced two miscarriages. Wasn’t that enough? Why did I need to experience a stillbirth as well? Why me? Was I such an awful person that I needed a tragedy like this in order to earn my keep in this world?
For weeks after my daughter’s death, these are the thoughts that tortured me. After all, I used to be the person who believed life was full of lessons. I thought everything happened for a reason. Even though I questioned these beliefs after my daughter’s death, others were quick to swoop in and affirm this misguided notion. The worst part? I spent far too long believing them instead of listening to my heart.
Finally, after a great deal of therapy and late night crying sessions, I realized there was no reason for my daughter’s death. I had not experienced two miscarriages and a stillbirth because I had a lesson to learn.
I was a good person whether my babies lived or died. They didn’t die so that I could prove my worth and my strength.
My babies died because sometimes babies die.
Babies don’t die because people need to learn life lessons. Babies don’t die for some greater purpose. Sometimes babies just die.
And when it happens, it hurts like hell.
It makes no sense.
It’s not anyone’s job to make sense of it. If people really want to help, they will offer support. Not guidance or advice, but validation and comfort.
“It’s awful that your baby died.”
“I wish they could be here.”
“This isn’t fair.”
“I love you.”
Yes, life after the death of a baby continues. Lessons will be learned and experiences will be had. But that’s not BECAUSE a baby died. Babies die AND life continues on.
It’s not a choice to be made.
No one deserves to have their baby die. No one needs to experience such tragedy in order to live their life. Life is cruel, but it’s not that cruel.
Sometimes babies die and when they do, the only thing to be discovered it just how much we love them. And that we will always love them, no matter what life sends our way.