When I was 25, I fell in love for the first time. It was what I always dreamed of... until a few months later when my heart was broken. Smashed to pieces. At the time, it was the worst thing that ever happened to me. I began to rethink my "everything happens for a reason" philosophy.
But still, I wondered, if with a little time and perspective, this might make more sense. I worked on giving myself that perspective and a few months after that, packed my bags, crossed the international dateline, and landed in Australia where I lived, worked and traveled for six months. I experienced some the best adventures of my life and saw some of the most beautiful sights (and just might have "pashed" a few Aussies, which helped to mend that broken heart). Within a few weeks of returning the the States, (which I had to, in order to I be in two of my best friends' weddings, which I tried not to be bitter about), I met the man that is now my husband.
And once again, I could tell myself, "everything happens for a reason."
And now? Seven years later?
Now, I think that anyone who believes that hasn't lost a child.
Now, I think sometimes terrible things just happen and sometimes you have absolutely no control. Sometimes those terrible things just happen to happen to you. Even when you've done everything right. Even when you're good people. Even when there's no reason at all.
Honestly, I liked my old philosophy better.
It was comforting (though maybe extremely naive) to have that kind of faith in the universe.
I know, deep in my bones, that my daughter's death will never make sense to me. No matter how much time passes, no matter how much perspective I gain. I will never understand why she's not here. And I will always wish she was.
Sure, I can see the good that can come out of it. I can see how losing someone so I love so much makes me appreciate all that I do have, especially my husband and my son. It makes me so grateful for those ones I love that are here. It makes me appreciate the present moment more, stop looking so much into the future which is so very uncertain. And I imagine that over the course of my life, which feels so very long right now, that I will continue to learn from my daughter.
But do those lessons make up for her life?
Gratefully, no one has yet tried to tell me that my daughter died for a reason.
But what I have heard is:
"This will be the worst thing that ever happens to you."
Oh will it?
You know that?
I sure hope so.
But I don't know that for sure, as much as I wish I did.
What I know now that I didn't know 8 weeks ago is that random, life-altering, hellish, unfair things happen to good people. And while I certainly hope my daughter's death is the worst part of my life, there's nothing guaranteeing that more bad things won't happen to my family. (Which is why Justin and I are suddenly more protective of Benjamin than we've ever been before).
So there's that.