This is something you hear a lot when you are a part of the pregnancy and infant loss community. It’s something said by others (or even ourselves) to help offer some comfort for the loss you experienced. I am guilty of this myself. When I had my miscarriage last year, I justified it to myself by saying it happened for a reason. After my miscarriage and subsequent D&C, I got pregnant the following cycle with Asher naturally. I justified that I lost that first pregnancy from fertility treatments to make it possible to get pregnant with Asher naturally. It happens for a lot of woman who suffer a miscarriage. They have a miscarriage and then get pregnant again the following month. My doctor even told me the morning of my D&C that it happened for her and countless other patients. So when it happened for me, I figured I had lost that pregnancy in order to make it easier for myself to get pregnant naturally. In my mind, it made my miscarriage acceptable. It brought me to Asher.
So, what was the reason for us to lose Asher? There isn’t one. Literally… there isn’t even a medical reason as to why his heart stopped beating. All we have is that “sometimes these things just happen”. There will NEVER be any reason that justifies the death of my son. Never, not ever. Nothing will ever be acceptable. There will never be an explanation that provides a reason for why someone has to live without their child.
If I have learned anything over the last two years of our struggle with infertility and the loss of Asher, it is that everything DOES NOT happen for a reason. Sometimes it is easier to think that way because it helps us to rationalize why something so horrible can happen to someone. But it’s not true. There is not always a reason. Sometimes horrible things just happen. Why does the 29 year old married woman struggle to conceive when the 19 year old teenager gets pregnant like that? No reason. Why does someone get to have 9 children when someone is struggling with all their might to have one? No reason. Why does someone lose their child when parents who neglect their children get to keep theirs? No reason. Why does one person’s child born prematurely survive and another’s born at the same time doesn’t? No reason. Life is simply not fair
When I was in the hospital with Asher, I kept looking at him and thinking I was the cause of this outcome for him. I had worried about this exact thing happening throughout my pregnancy. Another loss mom told me the thought of having a stillborn never crossed her mind her entire pregnancy and yet, she still ended up losing her daughter. I use to think that I did something wrong to deserve this unique, horrific pain but the truth is, I did nothing wrong. Neither did any of the other parents I have met on this journey. Child loss does not target a particular group of people. It is not a punishment for wrong doing. It can happen to anyone. I’ve seen pastor’s wives, Christians, Atheists, teenagers, etc. affected by child loss. I’ve seen the kindest people suffer not only one, but multiple losses. What possible reason could justify someone dealing with this pain once, let alone multiple times? The answer… none. THERE IS NO REASON!
I call myself a Christian and I know many a-Christian who have said to me “everything happens for a reason”, “God needed another angel”, “it was His plan”. I know they are saying those things to try and offer some source of comfort, not only to me but to themselves, but I don’t believe any of that. If I believe that then I believe that I must’ve done something to deserve this at some point in my life. And I don’t feel that I have, no one has done anything to deserve this pain. After doing the devotional, Hope When It Hurts, I learned that God never promised a life without suffering, but he promised to be there for us when we suffered. I don’t believe that God needed another angel (and if he did, why did he need MY angel?). I believe bad things happen and while He can prevent them, he never promised he would. He promised he would be there when they happened.
Lamentations 3:33 – “For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”
Matthew 11:28 – “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
So to sum it up… child loss is not a punishment that people receive for wrong doing. It isn’t something that happens for a reason. It’s easy to say that to someone who has lost a child, especially when you haven’t lost one of your own (so, please don’t say these things to people). But it’s not comforting or true. There is no reason that our children aren’t here. You could be an extremely devote Christian and yet, you still lost your child. You could be an atheist and yet, you still lost your child. Child loss does not discriminate and it does not target, it just happens. It’s taken me awhile to realize that fact but it has offered me a surprising amount of comfort. I don’t want to believe that God kills babies and I don’t want to believe that he is punishing loss parents by taking our children. I believe that these things just happen and He is there for us when they do.