I have written before about what NOT to say to a miscarriagesurvivor (check out my previous post ‘What NOT to say to a miscarriagesurvivor’) but I have left out one particular phrase that gets thrown around a lot after a miscarriage (or babyloss in general, for that matter):
Everything happens for a reason.
Does it? Does it, really?
That is always my first reaction when I hear this phrase, especially when it is connected to my loss or anyone else’s baby. What kind of reason could there possibly be for a baby to die? What kind of reason is behind the fact that a mother is left brokenhearted and with empty arms?
So yeah, I am not a fan of the phrase and I find it rude and inappropriat to say to someone who just lost their baby. This has been my thinking for quite a long time and I still think that. Recently though, there has been a new element to my thinking. I had the chance to talk to other loss mums and their perspective has helped me greatly seeing this phrase ‘Everything happens for a reason’ in a new light.
Maybe there is a reason, who knows. But the thing is, that is not the most important thing right now, or maybe ever. Fact is, the loss happened. We can’t change that. But instead of looking for a reason (which we all do and it is very normal), we should ensure that our loss was not in vain. Maybe it is up to us to put meaning into it. Meaning, not reasoning, not explanations, not speculations. Meaning. For some loss mums, their losses have helped them live life more openly and more positively. They want to experience it to the fullest because their babies never could. So when they meet again, they have a bag full of different life experiences to share with their angels.
I really like that kind of thinking. It helps us heal from our loss in a gentle way and it also feels empowering. Yes, we had a loss(es). Yes, they were and are beyond heartbreaking. But what are we going to do with the situation we are in now – after the loss? Shall we end up bitter and remain in darkness or should we try to look at life in a new light and see what is out there for us?
Of course, it is very easy to say ‘let’s just look at life in a new perspective’ and then expect to see rainbows and unicorns 24/7. Doing and practising this approach is incredibly hard. We can’t just pick up ourselves and see the sunshine. It is not that easy. But the greatest of journeys have all begun with one single step. So it is worth a try. We should try and look for the small blessings in life, appreciate the ladybugs in our garden and breathe in healing sea air. On the bad days, we should try and see if we can get up and get through the day. It doesn’t mean you have to do it – just try.
I think it is important to remember though that putting meaning into our losses might be a lifelong quest. There might be no clear answer – ever. But if it gives us purpose, hope and motivation to go on another day then I would say trying to see meaning in our loss ain’t such a bad thing. I still wouldn’t say though that my loss happened for a reason. I just don’t see it. To me, if I ever said there was a reason then that would be the end of it. It would seem like mission accomplished – we found the reason, now let’s forget my baby and put it into some statistic and never mention it again.
I. DON’T. WANT. THAT.
And it won’t happen. It will forever be up to me to make sure my little bean is not forgotten. So I am giving this ‘put meaning into my loss’ a try and see life in a new light. There have been many, many powerful and heartwarming encounters since my loss. I have learned so many lessons. I have written a book! I have my little family now. There are many blessings and I think it is time for me to see them, appreciate them and keep looking for new ones.