WHY Did My Child Die?: The Universal Questions after Child Loss.
Many of my readers are aware that my daughter, Christina, died suddenly from pulmonary embolisms just after her 30th Christmas birthday. My personal journey is detailed in a raw and private account of child loss in my book, Forever Namaste: A Journey to Hope in the First Two Years after Child Loss. Early in my own journey, the WHY questions tormented and haunted me. The same questions exist for every bereaved parent who has lost a child.
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Excerpts from Forever Namaste:
The “why” questions are universal for every parent after child loss. The questions exist for a long time after child loss; some questions remain forever in the broken hearts of bereaved parents who have lost so much. Why did my child die? Why did my child die under such circumstances? Why do some children live and other children die? Why didn’t I do something differently? Why couldn’t I save my child? Why didn’t I die instead? Why are some prayers answered, but not my own? Why are we even here on this earth? Why?
I began pleading and reading – pleading with others and with God to explain how something so cruel could now be a part of my life. I loathed listening to others claim how God had healed one of their own loved ones or saved another from sudden or unexpected death. I’d silently think, “That’s awesome for you! If God was so good and all knowing, then why did my child die so suddenly and tragically? Did God take a break that night or choose to save another instead?” The search for answers encompassed the totality of my brain space for months. I searched inward and outward – reading everything my limited amount of concentration would allow me to absorb. My soul screamed at God and pleaded with every passing moment for someone, anyone, to explain to me why my child is suddenly absent from the earth, from our family, from me.
My Journal Entry – February 27, 2015 – My mind is in complete destruction. Thoughts flitter through and overlap each second of the day. I cannot sort them into any logical stream. I float through the days, but cannot concentrate on anything. I’ve lost my desire to do anything except wonder why Christina is gone. I want to be left alone to try to figure it out; consciously, I know there is nothing earthly to answer the questions I hold. I still think I’m going to wake up from this nightmare and she will walk through the front door and say, “Hey, Mom.” I look at the front door for minutes at a time convincing myself somehow, someway, the door knob will begin to turn…my mind daring fate, the universe, even Christina to make it happen – then it doesn’t. Death isn’t a dream. Christina isn’t coming through the door…not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I’m left with the most surreal existence. My daughter does not reside on this earth anymore. I say it over and over, but there is nothing inside of me that truly believes it. I call her cell phone to hear her voice; it sounds the same as it always did. Child loss is the strangest, most utterly devastating human experience. My daughter really died and left this earth.
There are many bereaved parents who will search for answers. The “why” questions keep a bereaved parent’s mind in a constant loop of blame, guilt, and sorrow. There will be many bereaved parents who remain with questions that have no earthly answer.
What I do know, in the depths of my soul, is that God continues to be pure love and light even in my own darkest earthly hours. God did not take our children from us: He knew, He accepted them home; and He weeps alongside each of us. Some bereaved parents will continue to ask why God didn’t step in to prevent the death of your child. I don’t know. I don’t know why He didn’t prevent the death of my own child. Someday we all will understand what we cannot while we remain here on earth. When our own earthly time ends, I suspect we will not care so much about the answers to the WHY questions, but bask in the glory of reunion with a precious child and all that God has prepared and promised for us there.
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