Friday, June 12, 2015

Getting over the fallacy of fairness. And kicking the shit out of option B.

A while ago, I wrote about how I was partly dreading being off work this summer.  Our summers usually consist of visits to story hour at the library and hours spent at the pool.  But being around other moms and other kids is a lot harder for me these days.

I cringe every time I see a double stroller.  I think of our Double Bob, that sits unused in our garage.  I think about how unfair it is.

The other day, I watched as a mom ladled out lunch to her eight (!!!) not particularly well-behaved children.  I counted them.  I thought maybe she was also watching a friend's kids.  But they all called her mom.  I thought of all my friends who struggle with infertility, along with loss.  I thought about my daughter.  I thought about how unfair it is.

Sometimes I feel like I function better when I'm home in my little world with Ben and Justin, with Lydie in our hearts (and on our mantle), and Bowie in my belly.  When I'm out in the world?  The unfairness smacks me across the face.  

I talk to my fellow BLM friends more than anyone else these days.  Sometimes, with other friends, old friends, the unfairness of it all haunts me a little bit more.  It's too easy to think "Why Lydie?  Why me?  Why us?"  Their lives seem so normal to me, in a way we will never be again.

The moms at the pool and the library?  I avoid eye contact; I'm not friendly.  And I certainly do not engage in small talk.  And I grab my phone to bitch to email or text my BLM friends.

So every time I see a double stroller, I have to remind myself: it's NOT fair.  It's never going to be fair.  Life's not fair.  

I no longer believe in karma.  I no longer believe everything happens for a reason.  I believe there's a lot in life that we can't control and sometimes bad things happen to good people.  I believe tragedy strikes some people, some people more than once, and leaves other unscathed.

I keep reminding myself of this quote I read on another blog recently:  "I think handling despair, working through grief and even the hiccups of day-to-day life would be much more manageable if we were not hypnotized with the fallacy that life is fair."

This guy's wife died in her early 30's.  He is a widower at my age.
That's not fair.

It's not fair that the joys of pregnancy have been taken away from me.   Now that I am feeling Bowie move a bit, every time I feel her, I breathe a sigh or relief that she is alive at this second.  And when I haven't felt her for a while, I worry that she has died.  And because feeling the movement is inconsistent at this point, I'm wondering if she has died often.  I miss the innocence of my other pregnancies.  I miss not constantly wondering if my baby is alive or dead.

It's not fair.  It's never going to be fair.
Life's not fair.

It's not fair that I lost Lydie, but it's also not fair that I know this pain.  This fear.  This anxiety.  This grief.

The other night, I had a dream that Ben died.  I've had a few of these since Lydia died, but this one was especially graphic.  In this nightmare, I left him in the swimming pool by himself, and when I returned, I saw his body floating on top.  I can't get that image out of my mind.

Someone told me recently that everyone worries about their children.  I explained, yes, but when you've had one die, when you've held your dead child, I think you may have a cause for that worry.  I think you may worry just a bit more than other parents, and I think you no longer feel that that worry is irrational. I think we've lost all invincibility, all faith in the universe, all feeling like things will work out okay in the end.

I've heard a lot about how you can let grief destroy you, or be strengthened by it.  Clearly, I want that option.  But how?

I feel like, first of all, I need to get over the fallacy that life is fair.  To let it settle, deep in my bones, that life is not fair.  That life is random and chaotic and cruel, and really beautiful.

It is not fair that Lydie's not here, that I know this grief and these fears and these anxieties... but it is my reality.  So what now?

With the losses of Beau Biden and Dave Sandberg recently, I feel like there's been a lot of talk about grief in social media.  And while my heart aches for Joe Biden and Sheryl Sandberg, I appreciate the opportunity to educate others about grief.  And I appreciate ways to think about my grief differently.

And Sheryl reminds me, about trying to lead the best life you can with the cards you've been played. 


  1. You're trying and you're winning. This blog is only one example of that!x

  2. I think I've accepted a little bit more that life isn't fair, more than I did five years ago anyway. Now when I see people who are living versions of the life I wish I was living I don't so much think how it's unfair, but rather "must be nice." I mean, I still have my moments where I'm ragey angry with the unjustness of life, but it's mellowed a lot over the years.

  3. We have a pool and I OFTEN think about what I would do if I turned my back for a second and I lost one of my girls.

    I can NOT lose one of my girls.

    When I explain to people my fears I get rolled eyeballs and I can tell people think I'm exaggerating and I just know that feeling of despair FAR too well how that feeling sits within me.

    I still get a twinge of anger/frustration and sadness even four years later when I see strollers even though I have a double myself. And big brothers and little sisters? </3

  4. I sympathise - I lost my father as a kid, then I lost my husband when I was 41. I try to stay very busy and not dwell on how I feel. No one understands or knows what that kind of loss is like.


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