Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Faith in the Absurd

<<Warning: I'm venting here about religion... I'm not intending to be controversial, nor do I mean to offend anyone. Don't hate me. The end>>

Apparently I watch too much T.V.

This past weekend, my husband and I watched a documentary on the Charles Manson murders.  I try not to watch this stuff, as I get creeped out at the idea of psychopaths and people blindly following them. But, we figured it would be a baby-free show, so we watched.

I'm not going to go into the whole thing because 1) who wants to read about that and 2) that's not the point of my post. But what I didn't realize was one of the murder victims was 8 months pregnant at the time of the murder.  Her name was Sharon Tate, and she was the wife of Roman Polanski (yes, the man who ran away from statutory rape charges for a billion years).  Huh, I didn't realize a baby was involved, nor did I realize he was intertwined with the murders.

So, why am I writing about this? I guess because one of the quotations from Roman's 1984 autobiography Roman by Polanski, stood out to me. It's something I can relate to in a lot of ways, though clearly our grief comes from different situations/sources.

"Since Sharon's death, and despite appearances to the contrary, my enjoyment of life has been incomplete. In moments of unbearable personal tragedy some people find solace in religion. In my case the opposite happened. Any religious faith I had was shattered by Sharon's murder. It reinforced my faith in the absurd."

Huh. We'll deal first things first- enjoyment of life has been incomplete. How true is that? I am often struck by my hurt at times where I'm least expecting it.  Times where just a moment before I was laughing, just a moment before I was happy. But not a real happy, more a moment where I'd forgotten just how sad I am. I was driving the other day, to drop off tax stuff to our financial advisor. As I drove, I was singing along to some random song, drinking coffee and enjoying the sunroof being open.  I was feeling really happy- people driving on the highway next to me might look over and think, "she looks happy". But all of a sudden, I wasn't. My eyes immediately filled with tears as I looked into my review mirror I realized I should have been peeking at a 3.5 month old little boy.  I can't help but think that I should be enjoying a certain kind of lifestyle right now. I did everything right, and it all went wrong. From the outside, people who don't know me, and don't know the hurt I have in my heart might think I am a lucky gal (and I am...) but this simply re-enforces you can't judge a book by it's cover.

In the time before Jack, I was a very happy person. My husband? He's possibly the happiest man on Earth. Together, we were Disneyland.  But now? While we are happy,  our reality means that even when I'm happy, I'm only ever half-happy.

This will be with my for the rest of my life. Even when Scott and I are holding our next little dude or little ma'am, we'll both be thinking "you know, I wish Jack was here". When we have a bed full of children on a Sunday morning several years from now, we're being climbed over and pushed out of bed... Wrestling for blankets... I know we'll be so happy, so thankful for these second (and third... and fourth... and fifth?) chances. BUT, our kids will know about their baby brother, and they will know another was there before them. Scott and I will always know we could have been even happier. And who wants to settle, you know?

As far as religion, I'm on the fence. I've never been overtly religious. In the moments of having Jack placed in our arms, we felt very fortunate to have been given this gift. How could this exist without a higher being? God seemed very much a possibility then. Jack such a blessing to us.

And yet, as he was taken from us, I find myself angry, and unsure. I know I believe in a heaven, as I know Jack is there right now. I know we will join him one day. We are good people (I feel like I write this a lot, but trust me, we are!!!), Scott and I love each other, we adore our friends and families.  I believe I can consider myself spiritual, but I doubt I would define myself as religious.

I understand God's not there saying, "take this baby, his parents don't believe". I understand God doesn't decide who lives or dies. I understand God gives second chances. I understand that in theory he is good because he brings good things. But I can't wrap my head around this being who would let my baby die, but would preserve the life of a baby who wasn't as wanted, or isn't as loved. I don't understand why Jenelle, the twit from 16 and Pregnant, gets to keep a baby she obviously doesn't give 2 shits about (outside of her new MTV paycheques).  And yes, I realize that baby deserves to live as much as any other as it's not his fault.. These are just some of the things I wrestle with at this point in time. Why us? Why our baby?

Losing Jack seems absurd to me. We loved him so much. He was wanted so much. He was so full of potential, would have had every opportunity. He was the apple of our eyes, but he's gone.  It's not reasonable to lose your baby.  There is no rhyme or reason- it's completely senseless that we would be "given" him, only to have his snatched away.

If the reason for this is to teach us how much love we have to give, consider that mission accomplished. But  ::Newsflash::, we knew that when he was conceived, when we were expecting, and we definitely knew that the second we laid eyes on him. I don't understand why our lesson was so harsh. I don't think I ever will. Maybe it's not a lesson to be learned, but then, WTF is the point?

I just miss him. I just want him back. I just want to hold him one more time (who am I kidding? That would never be enough), kiss his face, his hand, and rub his hair. GAH, I miss him.


B. Wilson said...

IMO, there is no reason for this to have happened. You're being taught nothing. This is not a punishment for something you've done or anything of the sort. That's the hardest thing-- it's pointless sadness. If you learn something despite (or through) this, cheers to you.

No point in being given just to have taken away. Regardless of religion, I think our losses are independent of a higher power. Don't apologize for your feelings on your blog. This is your space to vent and process.

Oh the twits. I just want to slap those girls upside the head.

Becky said...

I keep asking those same questions all the time. I have many times even felt that losing Liam has taught me so much about what is really important in life; of course I wish I didn't have to lose him for me to realize so much. Like me volunteering in the NICU, great program, but I can guarantee I wouldn't have never done it if Liam would have lived. Almost like what you said about this being some kind of lesson I needed to learn.

Try not to be so hard on yourself. There really is no reason that this had to happen to you, your husband, and to Jack. Vent all you have to, especially about the twits, cuz I hate them too.

little vitu's mom said...

I identify so much with your post..I believe every word you wrote. Have been thinking all these myself. I have so many questions and no answers.

It is good you are venting.

My New Normal said...

I'm not big on the whole "everything happens for a reason" thing. If it's really true then I have to deduce that some of those reasons really suck!

Sherri said...

I don't subscribe to the "everything for a reason" belief either! I HATE it when people use that to try to make me feel better about Kristen's death! There is NO good reason for our baby to be gone, there is NO good reason for us to suffer through invitro, when all we want is a child!!! There is so much out there that is shitty and wrong, and yes.. good can come out of some things.. but does that mean that everything is for a reason?? Not in my books!
And I know what you mean about not being completely happy anymore too :(

Molly said...

I agree with you! I hate those people who say "God has a plan" and "everything happens for a reason." no matter anyone's beliefs, I think we're ALL angry and questioning. And I think that's totally ok. Even an overly religious person would question this situation and be angry. And they have every right to! After Hayes died, we actually found ourselves drawn to church. I now feel the need to learn about what I've rebelled against for years bc it's real life for me--someone DEAR to me is in heaven, and I need to know about it. I know not everyone feels that way, and this has actually taken me by surprise, as well.

I've blogged about that look of happiness on the outside before, too. Those moments come, but no matter what, our baby is on the brain. We have those sunroof-open, happy moments still though bc we are functioning. I love how Brandy said once that there will always be a dark cloud in our sky, no matter how many other kids we have. :(

Brooke said...

I know just what you mean about this incomplete happiness. That is something I have really struggled with... that my life, no matter how happy I am in the future, will always be sadder and emptier than it was supposed to be.

When I am feeling optimistic, I think that maybe there are other ways in which Eliza will continue to fill my life--meeting other mothers who are walking this path too, feeling closer than ever to my husband, being more grateful for small things in my life, knowing who my true friends are, appreciating my (potential) future children even more. None of that makes up for her loss, it's really no consolation at all. I guess I just want to do what I can to make sure that I remember her life was not without meaning, and that the meaning must be more than just making me sad.

Thinking of you.

Brooke said...

I've definitely struggled with religion, too. I just feel so distant most of the time. But I loved what Tiffany wrote about her faith here:

Kelly said...

I've written similar things in my blog. I used to believe God has a plan and everything happens for a reason. Believed it for YEARS. Now, I don't know what I believe. I just can't understand the reason for losing Adam or that it was my plan to lose Adam or Adam's plan to only live 2 months. I don't know what to think now!

I understand the being incompletely happy. We will never get over this pain or forget it, no matter how many children we have or what good things life will throw at us in the future.

And random, as an American, I am loving the spelling of "paycheques" versus our "paychecks" :)

TanaLee Davis said...

I too don't care so much for some of the common beliefs out there. For example: "God needed another angel."
If you haven't seen the movie "Rabbit hole" you have to see it. This comment above is in this movie, due to it being about grief and how it effects parents of a child lost.
I agree with some above that there is no real reason for the death of our children except being imperfect from the moment we/they are conceived. I don't believe that God is trying to teach us a lesson.

New Year Mum said...

Love your blog and thank you so much for all your kind words since I started blogging... it's been lovely to start sharing this journey with you. I've awarded you a Stylish Blogger and/or Versatile blogger Award :)) Follow the link below and join in the fun this Easter :)

I agree with you post so much and find it so frustrating when people try to reassure me by saying that it "happened for a reason"... but strangely search for that reason over a year later :(

Love always xoxo

Keleen said...

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "But not a real happy, more a moment where I'd forgotten just how sad I am". That's how I feel any time I catch myself in a happy moment.

My cousin lost 2 babies one at 12 months and the other was stillborn. She now has 5 children. She said she was in the mall the other day and they were all coming up the escalator. She thought to herself "wow, people must think I am crazy for having so many kids" and then she thought, but even with those 5 I am still 2 short, what a sight it would have been to have seen all 7! Just goes to show you that we will never have a COMPLETE family picture...ugh!

Tiffany said...

It's like you climbed into my mind! I think I was actually shaking my head in agreement with you. I don't get why our baby had to be taken away, she was so loved and so, so wanted. And it wasn't easy getting her! Why do people who don't even want their kids get knocked up with no problem and then get to keep them! Absurd is the only way to describe this all.
Sending you hugs

LookItsJessica said...

I basically feel the same as all other posters but this post struck me so I wanted to let you know I feel the Exact. Same. Way.

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