A very important video has been circulating, (at least in the baby loss community) about those "helpful" things people say to be encouraging after the loss of a baby. The video focuses primarily on miscarriage, but some of the quotes I've experienced after Ryan's stillbirth in September.
The one that really "gets me," though, is: "Everything happens for a reason." Or its cousins: "Stay positive." "Find the positives." and "God has a plan for you."
Let's start with "Everything happens..." It's a pretty hot topic for me, so excuse my language. But this one really fucked me up for a while. I mean, seriously. I searched hard for a reason.
Maybe Rich and I weren't ready to be parents? No. Definitely not. We are so ready. And we will be (we are) amazing ones at that.
Maybe Ryan wasn't really healthy. But no. Also not correct. He was perfect, inside and out.
Now, we get a little crazy.
Maybe he would have gotten really sick as he got older, so he was taken from us right away instead? But no. Though I'll obviously never know the answer to that question, I would rather have had 2 years with him than the no years I was given.
So let's get a little crazier.
This one pushed me over the edge. Maybe there was something wrong with me? Maybe I was sick. And I didn't know. And some greater power didn't want Ryan to grow up without a mom. I actually went to see both my family doctor and my OB on a few occasions because of this fear. Every ache and pain sent me into a "something's seriously wrong with me" tailspin. But no. Thank goodness. I'm perfectly healthy.
So basically, I've landed on there is no reason. And if there is a reason, looking back on the possibilities, none of them are that great, so I'm not sure how that's supposed to be a consoling turn of phrase.
And for those of you still "searching for the positives," here's one: I've found strength I didn't know I had. Well guess what? I'd rather have a baby. Still sound like a good reason?
Now, let me jump to God's plan. I refuse to believe, that my God would ever make it His plan to let this happen on purpose. Not to good people. Not even to bad people. That's just not the God I grew up believing in. Instead, I'd rather believe in an imperfect God. A God who makes mistakes. And the real test of my faith is being able to forgive Him for letting this happen. This is a work in progress.
Make no mistake. I'm not living in a dark cloud about Ryan's loss. I stand by the fact that it's better to have had him and lost him, than to have never had him at all. The joy he brought to us for those 9 months can never, and will never, be replaced. But there are no positives in losing him. At least none that I am willing to see.
Maybe his loss will make us better parents some day. Maybe his loss has made my love for Rich grow stronger. Maybe a lot of things. But losing him will never be positive. It will always be the most epic mistake the universe has ever made in my life.
I was glad to wipe "Everything Happens for a Reason" off my window, and I'll be more glad to never hear those words spoken or written to me, or anyone else who has to deal with loss. Instead, just give a hug. Let them know you're there to listen. And speak loudly and often about the person who's died. That means more than any loss-cliche ever spoken.