It’s such a simple word. Three little letters strung together, that when strung together pose the greatest question. A question that’s answer may be loaded with so many things that it can send your mind into overdrive and make you feel like you are going crazy. Or, the answer may be empty, devastatingly empty.
Everyone at one time or another, asks themselves why. Children, myself included once upon a time, love to ask the question. Sometimes they ask it after every sentence as a bit of game, just to drive the other person crazy. But, unusually the question is the result of some innocent thought like why does the Easter bunny leave chocolate eggs and not an Easter chicken? Or, why is the sky blue? And sometimes children’s why questions are a bit more complicated and the result of very difficult circumstances. They might ask, why did grandpa die? Or when is mommy coming home? These are all great questions that are important inquisitive questions for a child to ask as they develop and grow.
Interestingly, our love for these three simple words never seems to leave us, and as adults, we continue to ask the question. It may be in response to a seemingly simple situation – why did I burn supper again (I ask this one a lot)? Why did I buy those shoes when they hurt every single time I wear them (unfortunately another one I’ve asked a few too many times)? Or why did I buy a white shirt (I always ruin them usually on the first wear)? Or, the question might result from a much more complex situation – why did he/she not call me back? Or, why did our friendship fade? Or, why did she die so young? Or why is this happening to me? Sometimes we ask the question out of insecurities or sometimes we ask as we desperately search for meaning.
At a young age, I decided not to dwell on why my family was in a car accident, or why my mom and sister died that day or why my dad and brother lived. I am not a believer in fate or destiny, so I cannot chalk the situation up to it was there time. I am not particularly religious, so I cannot accept that god had a plan for them, or god needed them for something else. Simply, I didn’t like any of the greater philosophical answers as to why it happened. I couldn’t accept any of these answers to explain the situation. The best why, for me at least, was we all have personal choice and the driver of other vehicle made a choice to not pay enough attention and missed a stop sign at the absolute worst time. Shit happens. Someone made a mistake with deadly consequences. In my mind, there is no higher meaning. Simply put, it is what it is.
But, now I’m faced with a new why. Why, have we lost 4 babies? I decided long ago not to dwell on the why when it comes to my life; but, holy crap is it hard with this one! Personal choice doesn’t cause this situation, because trust me, I wanted each one of those babies more than anything else in the world. If personal choice played a role, then I would have 4 living babies today.
I’ve spent my entire professional life finding solutions to complex problems. I am educated and trained to find the answer to why. I am trained to find solutions in difficult situations. And, I’m really good at it!! So, in my mind, there has to be an answer to a medical situation such as this – its medical/scientific, there has to be an answer. I’m not talking about why from an emotional perspective, I honestly don’t care about that. I care about the scientific, medical reason. The hard, cold, objective facts. But, when I talk to leading medical professionals about our recurrent pregnancy loss, I’m told there are no answers. None. All medical testing says that my husband and I are perfectly healthy, therefore this shouldn’t be happening. Try again, and one of these times it should work. Seriously?! Trying to find the answer to recurrent pregnancy loss, has resulted in our primary RE laughing with us – we actually asked 21 questions at our last appointment, all trying to understand why from a scientific perspective.
This unexplained why is one of my biggest struggles with this situation. It’s one thing for someone to die in a car accident, or from an illness without a cure (no, I am not saying this is easy, but I am saying there is an explanation). It’s a completely different thing for 4 babies to have died for no apparent reason. In my mind, I am struggling to accept that I will not be able to answer this why.
I know I’m not going to get an answer to this why, but I still want one and I’m working to accept that I cannot answer this why.
How do all you other ladies (and gentlemen too) deal with the struggle to answer why as you face your own struggles? Maybe we can build a giant list of how to deal.