I am printing this letter and my reply during this holiday season because I believe this man is not alone in his feelings of hate, anger, and regret. Maybe by hearing his story others will find understanding. I don’t talk about my personal spiritual beliefs unless asked, not the place of a professional caregiver. I think this letter was asking.
This email may get a little long, please forgive me. Through the years I have never found anyone I could talk to, one that could truly understand but you!
I have written to you before, the latest being when I told you what it was like to watch my wife being forced to carry to term our anencephalic daughter.
This article "Stuck in Grief" also hits home because it was many years ago that she was born & died.
On that day, as I sat outside the delivery room, I cried, I prayed to both God & Satan they could have me, my soul, my being, any and everything of me either wanted if my daughter could just be normal healthy & whole. Obviously bargaining didn't work. So where was God & where was Satan? As you cannot have one without the other. How could a just, loving God allow this to happen to a child. So much for there being a just, loving God. At that moment I started hating God, Satan, preachers, religious leaders, politicians, everyone & Christmas. And years later I still hate the holidays, I hate Christmas most of all! I find absolutely no joy at all in any of the things to do with the holidays. As people bounce around with all their joyous b.s, they have no idea of the hurt & anger & heartbreak that is within me. And when you try to share they either don't want to hear or don't care because it doesn't affect them.
I asked my wife's doctor to allow me to view my daughter, which he did, but I could only stand & stare. He offered her hand to me but I couldn't take it (a decision which has haunted me ever since). I held my most prized bird dog as he was being euthanized so he would know he was loved & not alone for his final breath & yet I could not even hold my dead daughter's hand.
It was certainly not a very bright or fun Christmas time. And my own birthday was coming up just days after my daughter died. Every year I always say nothing good ever happens at Christmas & nothing ever does.
I don't remember ever sitting down with my wife, holding each other & actually crying. We allowed the hospital to use whatever was viable for donation or research after they performed an autopsy (at my request) so there was no funeral. That decision still haunts me too! I know I made the best decision I could at a really bad time but it doesn't make it any easier. So I guess the crying and venting you see at funerals as a way of relief I deprived myself of.
My wife did say that our daughter did come to her in a dream & tell her "she was fine & happy &...." How do you question someone's dream, it's her story who am I to call her a liar. But nothing like that has ever happened to me. So needless to say people who claim to have had things like that or that God performs miracles just make me want to scream at them that they're full of b.s.
People have said things happen for a reason, all these years later I still have never seen or been given any enlightenment as to why things happened. And to be honest it really ticks me off when people say it too.
I understand what it's like to be stuck & not able to get past something & have no idea of how to do it. Those who say just lay it down have never been through it. If they had maybe they could have a glimpse of that person's feelings.
People have told me "hating " is a waste of time & only destroys you. The people you hate don't know it, & they could care less if you do hate them, because it doesn't affect their lives.
I know all this to be true, but I just cannot stop those feelings of hate.
As I finish this long email I look at the clock & I know in a few hours it will be the anniversary of my daughter’s birth & death. The hate, anger, and sorrow is still there and it's there every year & won't go away.
I'll end this now with an apology & a thank you. Apologies because it is so long & thank you because you took the time to read it & most of all because you understand.
I am glad you feel comfortable enough to reach out to me during this life challenge that becomes more intense at holiday time. Here is my two cents worth: Personally I believe God is everything (no Satan, all God). I also believe that God does not interfere in our life lessons. The energy of God is like a wise parent that lets children work through their challenges, no right or wrong way, just easier or more difficult.
I don't know that there was a reason your daughter died at birth and I don’t believe that everything happens for a specific reason. I do believe there is a life lesson in everything that happens to us. For you, your wife, and your other daughter there was a lesson. The lesson was how to go on living when a dream is shattered, when life did not go the way you planned or wanted. That is the lesson. In looking back on your life it looks like you handled your lesson with hate (your words), guilt, and regrets.
It is not too late to examine the lesson, to rethink your reaction to it and to put all those tormented thoughts and feelings to rest. I am not expecting you to change but am saying you have the opportunity, if you want to take it, to reevaluate the lesson life gave you.
You may be thinking how can Barbara say these things to me, she hasn't experienced the loss that I have. She doesn't know what it feels like. BUT I do. I too had a baby girl, actually twin girls, die. They died in my belly a month before I gave birth to them. I knew for a month they were dead in my body. I did not see or hold them when they were delivered, no funeral. I delivered them, spent the night in the hospital and went home empty. I was just given a card with "Baby girl A and Baby girl B" written on it. I know your pain of anger, feeling cheated, wanting to blame someone other than myself.
What I have written to you is what I came to believe in order to move on with a healthy life.
In the Blog article "Stuck in Grief" I suggest writing a letter to the person that died and saying from your heart what you need to say that you didn't say before. I recommend that you write your baby girl a letter. Pour your heart out to her and offer to her your wanting to let go of all the negative feelings you have been carrying all these years. Tell her, from the bottom of your heart, how you want to be free of this heavy weight you have carried all these years.
You might also start a yearly ritual of blessing your daughter. On the day of her birth and death light a special candle and let it burn through out the day. Talk to her, tell her you miss the opportunity her life would have given you both. Then at the end of the day blow out the candle, put her to rest, until next year. Give it a try. I think you have carried this long enough.
Something More about... IT HAPPENED FOR A REASON? Death of a Child
My book My Friend, I Care is about the grief journey. It offers support and ideas on coping. I believe that bereavement and grief groups are powerful places to find tools as you process your loss.
Oh Brad, my heart goes out to you. There are no words I or anyone can say to ease the pain you are experiencing. Your daughter’s death being only months ago leaves you with an open, gaping wound. In time, a long time, the wound will become a scar. When memory touches the scar the pain will return to the surface but right now you are still experiencing the overwhelming pain of your loss.
About not hearing from your daughter I assume you mean a spiritual contact from beyond. I have had too many experiences to not believe that we are more than our physical bodies, that life in some form continues, and that there can be contact or sightings of a person that has died.
Why you haven’t had that contact: one reason is our grief can get in the way. Our intense, overwhelming grief surrounds us so thickly nothing (physical or non physical) can reach us. If contact is possible why doesn’t everyone have contact you should ask? Because most of us are just too immersed in our grief to hear or see, to be aware is one reason. Because the person that died, their job is to move on, to figure out the life they left. Their job is not to look back but to move forward into Light.
I read these stories every night I can’t comprehend what has happened to our family with our young daughter being murdered months ago. I cry every day and talk to her every day, I pray every day and night don’t know why I do anything. I still say out loud , I guess she isn’t coming back. I want to hear from her so badly and I don’t understand why I haven’t. We were so close and I just know she would try to contact me , so is it me why I haven’t heard from her what am I doing wrong. I miss her Soo much , I just don’t know what to do. I am so heart broken and then I read these stories from others and realize there are people who feel what I feel . It is so terrible
Such moving letters! I have not experienced anything like this. I was touched , saddened, hopeful and prayerful. Peace be with you.
Not everything is a lesson…its life, an experience. I didn’t need my son’s death to teach me any lesson. I do not believe God wants us to suffer our lessons.
Now that I am the griever , I will never say " Everything happens for a reason" Now when I hear someone say it, I feel heartache for the griever. It sounds dismissive .
There are so many more comforting things to say. Such as.. I am sorry. You must be in so much pain… Google it , that is how I found my grief group/ tribe.
We try so hard to know why and many times we will never have an answer or the answer we are looking for.
I believe after a person dies we always look back and wonder what we should have done differently.
We actually can make ourselves crazy thinking and reflecting and asking the what ifs.
My mom has been gone 7 years and I miss her oh so much and think back over years.
I found that writing to my mom helps relieve my anxiety and sadness.
I let her know what is happening, who is doing what, decisions I have made etc.
.I have a journal and in the beginning probably wrote in it every day and as time goes on the need to write is less.
Try it as I think it will help you.
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