Searching For Meaning Through Loss

One of my biggest struggles in the last few years has been learning to let go. Learning to accept what is, for what is, rather than trying to change it.

I’ve mentioned before that I work hard to avoid the traps of the what if game, but sometimes I still do fall into the why version of the exact same game. Another one of my struggles has been trying to figure out the why. Why is this happening? Most days I wonder why us? Some days I wonder why me (because when I’m feeling extra crappy I tend to think that I’m all alone in all of this, as if Mr. MPB and all of my friends out there aren’t also experiencing the same hurt)? Some days I wonder why our little babies had to die.  Why my body couldn’t work the way it is supposed to. Why are we the ones walking the adoption path? Why does miscarriage happen to people who simply don’t deserve it?  Heck, why does miscarriage have to happen at all, because honestly, no-one deserves it.

And every time I start asking why, I almost always end up trying to find the meaning in all of our pain and hurt.

My rational brain thinks that if we are going to go through this, there must be something I can learn from it. There must be some meaning behind the last few years of our lives. Otherwise, seriously, the world is playing some sort of cruel joke on Mr. MPB and I. For the life of me, I cannot seem to accept that the last few years have simply been a karmic joke to a puppet master pulling the string behind my back.

And of course, when my mind goes here, the next logical place for me to wonder is into the world of religion. I’m not a particularly religious person, while I was brought up in the church and I believe in a lot of the Christian ways of life like do good unto your neighbour. That said, I do not have a strong tie to the idea of a creator who is guiding us through our lives. I respect those who do, but it’s not my cup of tea.

As I try to see something beyond my current field of vision, I wonder, do I have to be religious to search for a deeper meaning? For the most part I think not, but I also think on some level have a religious faith would help me in my quest for meaning.

For me, trying to see meaning in something that just makes no sense is hard. I keep looking for logic where there is none. And looking for logic where there is none has the same results as continually slamming my head into a wall – it’s a pointless activity that just gives me a headache.

So, given my believes, it means that I simply have to accept the lack of logic. I simply have to accept it is what it is, and it is out of my control.

And yet, that said, I will continue to look for meaning. I cannot help but want there to be more to this then just dead babies and a broken heart.  For me, maybe my meaning is that:

  • I can contemplate for how my life has been enriched by knowing each of our babies, even just for a little while.
  • I can take solace in the fact that by sharing my story I may just make a difference in someone else’s life and help them know that they are not alone.
  • I will continue to use our experience to educate others in the worlds of miscarriage, abortion and adoption.
  • I hope that I will appreciate the small things with our future child(ren) in a whole new way and on a whole new level then I would have before experiencing so much loss. Though all of this loss I have learned to refocus my life and my priorities away from work and onto our future family.

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19 Comments on “Searching For Meaning Through Loss

  1. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve hit the nail on the head. There may be some silver linings, which you’ve thoroughly enumerated at the end, but it’s hard (impossible?) to find meaning in these experiences, unless you do some religious contortions that I just can’t make myself do with integrity.

    I don’t believe that there’s any meaning behind what we’re experiencing. Biology is an imperfect process, evolution has dead ends and diseases strike, and it sucks to be one of the unlucky ones, but someone has to be. That’s just the world we live in. You’ve done everything within your control, which is important, and you’re doing the hard work of accepting that the rest is out of your control. But what makes you different, what makes you special, is how you move forward and deal with the crappy cards that life has handed you. You *create* the meaning in your babies’ short lives by writing this blog and letting the rest of us know that we are not alone. You *create* the meaning in your suffering by being more empathetic as others go through theirs. You’re doing an amazing job of creating meaning from a sucky situation, and I salute you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I so very much appreciate this comment and the reminder that biology is imperfect. And really, there doesn’t have to be any more meaning to this then just biology not being a perfect science. Really, my search for meaning is just my way of trying to mentally cope with circumstances outside of my control.

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  2. This is beautifully written, and I like that you’re not afraid to ask hard questions. I think it’s a brave thing to question and search for your truth. Even as a woman of faith I still have trouble finding meaning in loss and pain. For me my faith provides a comfort that I’m not alone and that maybe my story and my pain will give hope to someone else. I hate that you have had so much pain along your journey but my hope is that your pain will give you an extra measure of joy when you get your sweet child:) Blessings friend, keep writing these meaningful pieces, they are wonderful!

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  3. I don’t think there are reasons for the suffering. Explanations in some cases as to the why but a reason why some of us suffer and others do not? No. Yet I do believe there are always things we can take away and “learn”. Sometimes it takes time to be in a position to see what those things might be however. I think about the spirit baby message I got in late 2013 that education is why our spirit baby chose us (and kept choosing us even when my body would destroy each new physical incarnation of our spirit baby). I know that this baby is about learning for me, for the LP. Some of that learning we have already done. I am a little fearful of what else we will have the opportunity to learn and hope it is not as painful as what has preceded it. Sometimes I wish it were not this way. But it is what and how it is, for us as it is for you and Mr. MPB. I applaud you for seeking opportunities to make sense and create positives whether for yourselves or others along the way. Sometimes that’s the best we can do or hope for, I think.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your perspective from your own journey. In many ways I agree that there is no reason for the actual suffering, but yet I feel the need to develop something greater out of it – weather it be my own understanding of myself or helping others. Maybe it’s that I refuse to not have meaning it,, so I’m trying to create my own sense of meaning?

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  4. Even as a religious person I struggled to find purpose for what we were going through when we were where you are now. It was not until we met our son that we got an answer to the question “why?” Now, looking back at all that we have been through I can honestly say that I see God’s hand through it all. I just did my best to have faith that God works for our good. It did not stop my anger with him for making the journey so painful, nor did that help on times I gave up praying, convinced that it did not matter what I wanted in life. He was going to do what his will was.
    Now I see how much I have grown through the process and had the experiencing of meeting my children and knowing in that moment that everything we had gone through was to prepare me to mother these children. God knew what he had in store for me all along.
    I cannot pretend to know why your journey is the one that you are on. God has his reasons and I hope that someday you can look back and see them for yourself.

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  5. Like you, I have spent these years looking for meaning too. At times I felt perhaps I’d found some in the way it forced us to work on our marriage by straining it or helped me resolve doubts I was having about parenting by making me wait for it. At this point, I just can’t believe it any more, and I’m on-board with Lyra (post above) because it’s just gone past the point of growth to a relentlessness that is damaging and gratuitous. Yet…the fact that I keep fixing aspects of my diagnosis only for news one, statistically incredible ones, to keep announcing themselves with some new trauma/upheaval to create a barrier – it starts to feel like there must be a reason. How could all these insanely rare things happen to one couple by accident? They have, though, so however the universe works, I’m pretty powerless and I can only find ways to deal with the shit that keeps getting shoveled my way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing and commiserating. I think you and Lyra are spot on about there actually being a meaning behind all of this. I think Lyra’s comment about biology being an imperfect science fits with my thinking beautifully.
      Anyways, I think you are handling the shit that keeps getting shoveled your way with such courage and I admire your strength through all of it.

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  6. I have asked myself these questions many times in my own circumstances. Why was I the one that was assaulted and abused? Why was I raped? Why did I get cancer? What is the meaning behind all the suffering and pain? Do I deserve less happiness than others? Am I not a good person and do something to deserve it?

    Yes, I have learned through all that I have been through. Yes, it is human nature to ponder these things. It is also human nature to want there to be logical answers to these sorts of questions. The only conclusion that I have come to is that I cannot know why, and I need to try to be okay with that. Additionally, sometimes I think the only part of why I might be able to understand is that the things happened so I can help others. Perhaps that is narcissistic. I don’t know.

    My point: You are not alone. It’s okay to ask these questions. Try not to let yourself get too wrapped up into the wormhole of needing answers to them because it can be a very isolating and depressing place to be in (or at least it can be for me). We will never have all the answers, and that’s okay. ❤

    I am wishing you peace!

    P.S. In my religion (Unitarian Universalism), we affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This means different things to different people, but does not always mean a religious search in the Christian definition of the word. If you're interested, you can see http://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/principles/4th. No pressure. I'm not trying to "convert" you or anyone else. I don't do that and my religion is not like that.

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    • Thank you so very much for all of this. For stating that “I cannot know why, and I need to try to be okay with that” and for reminding me that I am not alone. While our individual journeys are so different, we are bound together by the fact that we ask these questions, we try to understand and we work to live through it all with some level of grace and dignity.
      And thanks for the link! I’ll read it in a few days when I have a bit more time. 🙂

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  7. First, this was beautifully written. Secondly, although I very much believe in God, it doesn’t make this path we’re on more logical. It just helps me and I find it comforting to know that He has greater plans for us than we can ever imagine. It doesn’t make me any more patient on waiting to find out what His great plan is, but I hope and pray, that one day, I can look back and understand.

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    • Thank you so much my friend. I so appreciate your perspective and enjoy seeing how your believes help (and don’t) you process all of the emotions around all of this!

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  8. Like you, I am trying to get the learning out of the experience and purpose. I was very frustrated and at some point disappointed as I cannot find an answer. This year I started to re-adjust my life, just be a healthier and happier me is good enough. Try to tell myself. Just take care of myself first before I can do things for others. I would be no use if I am not

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  9. Pingback: What Does Failure Mean To Me? | My Perfect Breakdown

  10. Pingback: Isn’t It Ironic, Don’t You Think? | My Perfect Breakdown

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