"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.”
- Richard Bach
Lately I keep having this dream where I’m screaming at the top of my lungs “I WANT MY BABY BACK!!” over and over like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum.
As kids we were used to hearing “No”. No, you can’t have chocolate for breakfast. No, you can’t have that expensive toy. No, you can’t stay out past curfew. At the time we might have gotten very upset, but as we got older we came to understand it wasn’t because our parents didn’t love us that they said “No”. In fact it was just the opposite - they knew that bigger, better things in life would come if not every wish and desire we had was immediately fulfilled.
As “grown ups”, we get used doing whatever we damn well please. We get pretty confident we know what is “good” for us, and what will cause us suffering, and try to make the best choices.
But still there are times when life tells us “No”: a broken relationship; a tragic accident; the death of a loved one. People we love are lost or hurt. Babies we want so bad die. It seems the only normal thing to do is scream, cry, throw a tantrum and ask WHY??
In the moment grief seems all there is, and the universe, God, life and whatever else seem horribly cruel. But I try to remember that in the large scheme of things, this is only a glimpse of my life. Keeping Landon might have brought me an immediate joy and saved me from a life of missing my first born son. But truth is I don’t really know what direction the rest of my life will now go, or what gifts might come of this loss.
Maybe we all are still children just thinking we know what’s best. Maybe, just maybe, this “No” can be understood as an act of love, too.