I had a few beers the other day with my boss, and as the conversation turned from work to relationships to the recent loss of our daughter, my boss made this comment:
“It’s obvious you’re very angry.”
Whoa. I didn’t even think that I came across that way. Probably a few beers talking more than me. But it struck me.
I am angry. I’m angry that other people get to be pregnant without ever experiencing the fear of a loss. I’m angry that other people are completely irresponsible throughout their pregnancy or parenting journey, that they still get their kids, oblivious to the gift they’ve been given, the privilege of parenthood.
I’m angry that this happened to me, to us. I don’t believe in karma, because I didn’t do anything in my life bad enough to deserve this.
I’m angry that I can’t change what happened. That’s the gut wrenching, sick-to-my-stomach path that my thoughts can sometimes travel, when I’m tired and my defenses are weakened, or when I’m a little buzzed and my mind is free to wander. What could I have done differently that might have resulted in a different outcome? What little change in the course of those 24-48-72 hours could have resulted in us bringing our beautiful daughter home? Is this my fault? Maybe if we had skipped the epidural. Maybe if I had been more diligent with the kegels early on. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
I’m angry that time doesn’t pass quicker.
I’m angry that I’ve never prayed harder in my life, that my husband prayed fervently, but that our prayers weren’t answered. Don’t give me the “Your prayers weren’t answered the way you wanted them to be” crap. We didn’t get what we asked for – we didn’t get to bring Hudson home alive and well – so our prayer wasn’t answered.
I’m angry that I’m working right now, 50-60-70 hour weeks, because I should be on maternity leave instead.
There’s this thing people who are religious say to you in an attempt to make you feel better: “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.”
Well, I’d officially like to start being capable of handling less. Because if the strong get crapped on, just because they can take it, then this is not a fair world. What’s the point in being strong? I would like to be a wuss, so that I get a cake-walk life, so that I can have Hudson back.
I express my frustration openly over the course of the evening, and I get this from my incredulous boss:
“You must not be afraid of God, the way you’re talking.”
Of course not. I’m not afraid of God. Because the kind of God I choose to believe in would understand that I’m a little pissed off at Him right now.
Friends, family, relatives, acquaintances, they all want to offer comfort, and those who have been raised in a particular faith are quick to offer some sort of “God will make this right” type of sentiment. “God will get you through this.” “God knows best.” “God works in mysterious ways.” “Lean on each other and lean on God.”
These are all nice, worthy sentiments. I know that I’m going to make the best of this situation because that’s the type of person I am, the type of man my husband is. But I can’t believe in any world where this would be “what’s best.”
What would be best? If my beautiful daughter were completely healthy, and if today, her 7 week birthday, was celebrated with some new baby trick in the comfort of our home. Not with a beer on an airplane while I travel home from a business trip.
The comforts offered by my religious friends are all well and good. But almost more comforting are the sentiments from my non-religious friends:
“This effing sucks and this isn’t fair.”
I can’t make some sort of life lesson out of Hudson’s death right now. I feel better saying aloud, angrily if necessary, “This effing SUCKS! This isn’t FAIR! I want my daughter!”
It feels better for this to be random. It feels better to me to accept that this shitty hand we were dealt was all just a series of coincidences, instead of a small piece of God’s master plan.
I might feel differently someday.
But in the meantime, the God I believe in understands where I’m coming from. He sees me in my frustration, and wishes He could offer a real comfort, clue me in, give me a sneak peek of the future where we have 3 more kids and they are all totally healthy and amazing, and Hudson is a part of their life even though hers was so tragically short.
The God I believe in would want to help me comprehend how He can be all-knowing, all-powerful, see the future, but not be able to change it or control it. He’d want to let me understand now, not tell me “Someday you’ll get it.”
I have faith in that God. The God that will sit down with me in Heaven and say “You got dealt a crap hand, and I wasn’t the dealer. I’m sorry the world ended up this way for you. Thank you for making the most of it. Here’s how Hudson changed the world.”
And then He’d let Hudson and the Hubs and I have some sort of VIP tour of Heaven.