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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why?

Warning:  This is a sad, rambling post.  I’m having trouble getting my thoughts together.  But if there’s ever been a time when I need your comments or advice, this is it.

 

My friend lost her baby this week.  Olivia (baby) had been diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder about halfway through the pregnancy.  She was just days from her due date, but was “born into the arms of Jesus” on Friday.

Which makes me sad.  Really sad.

 

I seem to know a lot of women who are experiencing some sort of “baby loss.”  I have a few friends who have been struggling to conceive, many who have gone through miscarriages (some multiple times), and several who have had extremely premature babies.  Finally, I know two whose babies have serious medical conditions that will ultimately cost them their lives within their first year of life.

And as sad as this makes me, I’m actually more confused.

Why does this happen?  Why do these wonderful couples have to go through this?

And why have I been blessed with a nearly perfect little boy, and another healthy pregnancy?  I often feel like hiding my belly when I’m around these women.

 

Let’s go even deeper…why do bad things happen to good people, in general?  One of my friends lost her mom last week at the age of 54.  She was also a beloved teacher in our community.

 

It’s all really hard for me to deal with.  I like to make sense of situations, and that’s obviously difficult right now.

 

So really, I want to know, how do you make sense of it or deal with it?  Whether through religion or some other means, please comment and let me know.

And what can I do for Olivia’s parents?  We don’t live very near each other, and honestly, I’ve felt very awkward talking to them since I found out about Olivia’s diagnosis, because of my own pregnancy.  But I want them to know that I care about them, am thinking about them, and praying for them.  What else can I do?

 

I hate reading sad blog posts, the same way I hate reading sad news stories.  But if you’ve read this far, please take time to leave me some advice, or say a little prayer for all these women, or something.  Thanks.

23 comments:

  1. wow, katie. i don't have any answers or advice, but i can say that i do sincerely believe that there is a reason for everything. we don't know the reason when it's happening to us and seems so tragic, and we may never know the reasons while we are on earth, but i know it all comes together in a place where we all are reunited with the people we loved and lost. i am so sorry for your friend and i wish i had something more profound to say. but you just have to believe it, even when you feel you just can't.

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  2. Katie, just be a "normal" friend. I too have had friends with similar stories...lack of pregnancies, miscarriages, lost babies after minutes or days of life. I don't get it either. One of my friends however thanked me for just being normal with her. Asking her how she was, really was, and also saying, I am not going to ask you all the time, so if you want to talk, just talk. But don't think my lack of talk doesn't mean I don't think about you all the time. But don't distance yourself. I just keep on doing what I would normally had done before the loss. Call when you would normally call, email, facebook, whatever you do as friends. Send them gift cards to go out to dinner or spa days. Meet her for shopping. Send her something special just for her...her favorite chocolate, coffee, nail polish, whatever she loves but rarely spoils herself with. And finally, just pray for her. Time never heals pain, it just makes us more numb to it. Pray that God gives her the ability and strength to open her eyes tomorrow. Hang in there momma.

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  3. I am so sorry for your friend and for the other ladies you have mentioned.

    I also lost a baby several years ago. I was 14 weeks along when our baby left this world and went into Jesus' arms. I was 16 weeks along when I had him. I carried him for two weeks knowing he was dead. Was it hard? Yes, it was so very hard. But, let me tell you that I had a peace that passed all understanding just like the Bible talks about. God filled my heart with peace and strength knowing He was in total control.

    I have such a long story that I would love to share with you but would be too long to share here. Let me just tell you that God used our son's death for His glory. We let our tragedy become part of our testimony.

    What meant so much to me, Katie, was when someone simply said "I am sorry". I didn't need big long sympathetic speeches (even though they were ok). I just needed someone to say they were sorry or give me a hug. Very simple...

    I also had a book given to me called Empty Arms. It was an incredibly helpful book during an incredibly hard time. I fully recommend this book to anyone going through this loss.

    One of the strongest most memorable sentences in the book read...straight from the mother's womb right into Jesus' arms. Wow...talk about ministering peace to a hurting mama. My baby was in Jesus' arms and I knew he was fine and that I would be fine with God's help.

    Again, I am sorry. I will pray for these people. I will pray for you. Please don't try to hide your pregnancy or feel bad in anyway about the baby growing inside of you. I never begrudged anyone else who was pregnant. It was actually a sweet thing for me to see a pregnant lady. I may have cried a little on the inside but it was okay. Life goes on and we make it through one day at a time with the strength that I believe, only God can provide.

    Again, I am sorry.

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  4. Don't "hide" your pregnancy from them. They are not less happy for you because of their own sadness. Being a recent and expecting mom, you have an understanding of their loss that other people don't have, because you understand what their fear and pain would feel like. Even though we could not conceive a healthy baby again, I never begrudged those who were having babies. In fact, I was more thrilled for them, because I didn't want anyone else to go through our struggle! part of the reason it seems like there are so many miscarraiges and ill babies is actually the advances in prenatal care. in our great- grandmothers' times, they were lost so early in the pregnancy the women often didn't realize they were pregnant, or at least weren't out of the first trimester. And, they were much mroe in tune with "nature" and realized that these things just happen in every species. It's sad, tragic, heartbreaking, devastating, gutwrenching, but don't try to look for "meaning" in it, or try to find the "why". It just is, Katie. Greive for your friends, be as supportive as you can be to them, give them a shoulder to cry on, help in any way you can. But stop trying "to make sense" of things that are out of human hands. You can't make sense of it.........it just is.

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  5. Out community just lost a little girl, almost two years old. It is incomprehensible. An older member of our church was talking to me about it, and she asked me, "Why?"

    I really don't think any of us can begin to answer that question. I believe it is part of God's plan, and we will never know until we are there with him. It is a HUGE leap of faith, and probably easier for me to say because I have not had to suffer the loss of a born child. We did have two miscarriages, though, and both times I just had to believe there was a reason we did not have each child.

    Leah is right. Be as natural as you can be. Let her know you are thinking of her and praying for her, and the door is always open for a conversation of any kind that she might need.

    Hugs to you too. I know this sadness can be a very heavy weight as you get closer to the delivery of your little guy. Please keep thinking positive thoughts, and let Him take your sadness and give strength to your friend.

    Hugs to you!

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  6. Sorry for the typo's. I had about 5 interruptions as I tried to get my thoughts down and just hit sent at the first opening!

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  7. Oh Katie, I wish I had the answer to that question. That is one of lifes hardest questions, and I've asked it myself before. I deal with this by holding on to my faith. My hope that someday there will be a world for us that does not hold these types of heartaches, and the only explanation I can understand is that we are not there yet. We are still in a hugely imperfect world that is riddled with tragedy, disease and sin. This is so hard to understand when similtaneously we can be miraculously blessed. There is a book I've had (but can't find right now) that is named "Why do bad things happen to good People" maybe it help. The book that helped me most though, was called "Simple Faith" by Chuck Swindoll. He touches on this a bit but after reading the entire book, what I learned the most is how to leave these types of questions in God's hands. I am so sorry you are surrounded by so much of this when you about to give birth to your second child. I can only imagine how hard that is. Take care of yourself, I will pray for you sweetie! :))

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  8. I've had friends with similar stories. Just know that they will keeping trying, when they feel comfortable again, and eventually have a healthy, beautiful baby. The best thing you can do to offer them comfort is let them know you're available to talk when they feel like talking. Or to not talk if that's what they want. Sometimes people just need time and space, so don't feel offended if they avoid you while they grieve. As for the whys, well who knows. Things happen. Bad things. But most of the time really good things happen and that makes all of the bad seem not so bad, someday.

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  9. Praying for you and your friend, Katie. There are not easy answers...but I know having experienced loss this past year how much I just needed my friends...knowing they were there if I wanted to talk about it but not having them ask about it either. There are no easy answers...but that's part of being human. Everyone deals and heals in their own time. I just recently started a devotional book on the 90 minutes in Heaven book and personally and finding it very helpful. I cry when I read it, but these are definitely more healing tears than the ones I've cried for the last year. Hugs.

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  10. So sorry to hear of your friends loss. I have in similar situations and have asked myself those very questions and have felt guilty for having a healthy happy family.

    You need to be there for your friend. A weekly e-mail or a call letting her know you are there even if you don't get a response she will at least know your are there and that you care. Because as much as it is uncomfortbable for us to reach out I am sure would beworse feeling like you have nowhere to turn.

    Take care!

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  11. Oh Katie I'm so sorry to hear about all your friends. I agree, don't hide your pregnancy. No human understands why things like this happens but I do know that the good Lord has a reason for everything and that he will always get us through rough times. As for what you can do for your friends, just be there. Listen when they need someone to talk to, give a shoulder to cry on and just know that the Lord rang another bell as he needed another precious angel to watch over us. I have recently lost my Dad so understand a recent loss. Hugs work wonders. Just let them know that you are there for them. I'll keep all of them and you in my prayers.

    Hugs

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  12. Katie, you've gotten so much good advice already and I really don't have words, just sorrow. Here's a virtual hug and a prayer for you and each of these sad situations.

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  13. Aw, honey. I'm sorry to hear about all the awful news you're having around you. I really dont know what to say- no one has a perfect explanation as to why life is the way it is. My guess is that when this life is over, we will be in Heaven, and have a moment of clarity and understand exactly why it was the way it was. I do know that as awful as it may be, everything happens for a reason. I just *have* to believe that- it is not only uplifting, but in certain situations simply a motto to survive.

    I am keeping all your friends who are mourning, and you too, in my thoughts.

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  14. aaawww Katie *hugs* There are loads of comments here.. and Im not sure I know what to say... But I do beleive that there is always a reason for things to happen... My hubby lost his best friend two months ago.. only when after 5 years of struggle... him & his wife were finally getting things under control and living a normal - happy life.. I just couldnt understand what God had in mind.. But I guess the easiest thing to do is accept the situation..

    I bet all your friend needs.. is a normal friend.. a bear hug... and a shoulder to cry on.. Be the more positive one for her.. and I hope and pray both of you will be fine.. Take care love!! and have a fab week ahead..

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  15. Katie, I'm so sorry. All of the experiences you mentioned are such difficult ones. So sad. You've been given such good advice in the above comments. There's little more I can add, but I'll try. I, too, had a stillborn baby. The thing that I most appreciated after our lose was people coming up to me and acknowledging my grief. Simple words are best like: "I'm so sorry for your loss." "We're praying for you." "I'm thinking of you." What doesn't help are phrases like: "It's probably for the best." "It was meant to be." I agree it's best to be the same kind of friend you've been all along and just show simple concern and love. I can also recommend the book "Empty Arms" -- such a good book for those who have lost pregnancies and infants. No need to feel self-conscious about your own pregnancy. When you've suffered the loss of a baby, it gives you hope to know that others are experiencing healthy and normal pregnancies and that you might too some day. Just be aware of the pain and grief your friend is going through.

    Your question "Why do bad things happen to good people?" is one that has been asked over and over again throughout the ages. I don't have a perfect answer for you, but after living through a few trials of my own I do know that through tribulation we grow in ways we otherwise might not. I can attest to the fact that the most difficult times of my life were also the most character-building times of my life. Those difficult experiences changed me and shaped me into a more kind and empathetic person. Granted it's hard to appreciate those trials as we are going through them, but looking back I can appreciate them now because of the growth I experienced. I also learned to rely upon the Savior more during those times. He became my refuge, my confidant, and my strength.

    Again, I'm so sorry for your friend. Hold that little one of yours a little tighter tonight and appreciate the fact that you are experiencing a healthy, normal pregnancy. Take care, Suzanne

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  16. Trust that God is bigger than all of this, and He already knows why.

    I was in a similar situation during my pregnancy... it is hard to watch friends suffer, but trust that they aren't blaming you.

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  17. I think we all at times wonder "why?" Often there are no answers, it just is. My heart goes out to your friends who are grieving their immense loss. Praying.

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  18. I just lead out church's Saturday worship on this exact topic: Having Faith in Hard Times. And a big part of what I talked about was questioning WHY do bad things happen to good people. Here's the answer: Because life isn't fair. It stinks, and dwelling on the why of things doesn't help. It's completely normal and human to ask why, but the thing is, we are not meant to know why....we wouldn't want the burden if if we COULD know why.

    There has been a slew of awful situations arise around my family in the last week too, and I feel the same way you do....guilty because my family isn't facing such challenges. One of our close friends was in a car accident and sustained a bad head injury, another friend was in an accident at work crushed by a dumpster and in the ICU, and my husband's childhood 4-H leader died suddenly from an aneurysm.

    All we can do in hard times is grab on to God and let him help us through. We can reject God, but that is really only going to make things harder.

    I am actually working on putting up a blog post all about my sermon....my video camera isn't cooperating, but I should have it up sometime this week. When I do get it up, you should check it out, there are some comforting songs and scriptures in there that will give you a little guidance.

    So sorry you're facing such a bad time.

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  19. So sorry to hear of your friends loss and know how troubling and sad it is for you. Leah summed it up with be natural and simply say "I am so sorry."

    I have lost two babies and recently found out I can't have any more. I really fought this and cried and prayed. I couldn't understand why people who didn't need babies or take care of them could have as many as they wanted and I couldn't just have one more that would be so loved. I really struggled (and still do at times), but I have really been looking at being content in my life and knowing that I am where I am in my life because God wants me there.

    I look at the positive that I have a beautiful healthy girl who fills my heart with so much love I can't stand it. As much as I would love another, I am so blessed and lucky to have her and that is what I focus on. Why does God do the things he does? I have no idea. I wish I did, but I just have to trust in the fact that he has the answers and knows what he is doing.

    We had a discussion about this at the dinner table with the 5 year old when she asked about why some people couldn't see or walk. As we started to talk as a family it was really interesting how we all thought about it. My husband said that God may put obstacles in our way so that we can learn from them and help others. I said I think he uses those times to make us stronger and grateful that we have the things we have. Jemma said she thought God did it so we could all be different. I think it is a little bit of all of that! Seemed to sum it up all pretty well!

    Have a good week and stay strong.

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  20. Brigham reached up and touched the burner on the other day. It burned his little thumb...the one he sucks on.

    Was it sad? Absolutely. Did he learn something? You betcha. I wish I could take away his pain. I wish I didn't' have to make him clean his room or do chores. But I have to. Because I want him to learn and grow. I can look past what he can see and recognize the good in it.

    Heavenly Father is the same way with us. Does He like us to suffer? No way. But He needs us to learn.

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  21. I was in bed trying to sleep when this thought came to me, I had to get up and share.

    Perhaps you should ask God this question instead of us.

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  22. You will have to forgive my late night poor choice of words. I meant to say, "In addition to us" not instead.

    I hope I didn't offend you.

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  23. I am one of those that cannot conceive, I ask the same questions all the time. The only thing that I can come up with is that everyone is put here for some purpose, some apparently to endure more, and feel more pain than others. Some to have children of their own to adore, some to just be awesome aunts and uncles. I have nothing really useful to say, except I know what you mean, and I'm looking for answers too.

    Charlene

    http://lifedramatic.blogspot.com

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