Thursday, February 12, 2009

Making the Best of Everything. Really?!?

Some time ago, I wrote about the oft repeated phrase, "Everything happens for a reason," a phrase, that I believe is misspoken and misunderstood as a life truth. In fact, it is that everything happens can be reasoned. My contention is that we got it wrong, because we have the ability to make sense of what occurs, we make the mistake of believing that it was "supposed" to happen that way to begin with. There is nothing that will more clearly show the error in this leap to fantasy, than the death of a child.

Well, I'm back to tackle a sister phrase, if you will, of, "Everything happens for the best." I don't think I'll need to spend as much time on this. You only need to replace the words "Everything" with your child's name followed by death to experience the ridiculousness of this phrase, another phrase that many like to spout off as another life truth.

My ability to see that all that happens can be reasoned, and that we can find meaning in all that we endure is strong, but I cannot make a case for Caitlin's death happening for the best. I cannot make the best out of Caitlin's death. I can only endure, make meaning of her death in my life, make peace with the reality of her death, open my arms and heart to living again, but, I cannot in anyway reconcile to making the best out of her death or believing that everything happens for the best. For each of these words have the sheen and texture of pearls, but Caitlin's death broke that strand of pearls, and as they dropped from my hands into the sea of grief, they revealed their true nature--that of dense balls of sand that dissolve in salty water.


  1. I just had to say I couldn't agree with you more. You spoke exactly what I've been trying to tell people for the last year.
    Thank you so much, I only wish more people could see things that way.

  2. I despise those two sayings with every fiber of my being! Before my daughter died, I never even really thought about those phrases. Now, they can actually turn my stomach.

    I went back and read your post about "Everything happens for a reason". I believe this post, as well as that one, just might be two of the most beautiful things I have ever had the privilege of reading. And the picture of you with your beautiful Caitlin brought tears to my eyes.

    I appreciate your wisdom and honesty.

  3. 've been thinking about this recently. Up until a few months ago, my mantra had been "Everything turns out for the best." Now it's like my whole world is upside down cause I can't turn to that belief anymore. Things don't always work out best. Your posts are beautiful, and so is your baby girl. Thank you.

  4. I don't here this one as much, but I do hear "Everything happens for a reason." I've even said it, and it felt like it worked for the planned trip that fell through or the dream job you didn't get. But it really doesn't work. Your version: everything that happens can be reasoned, does.

  5. Beautifully said. I agree with you 100% Can I link this blog post?