#Unblessed by Chris

This blog post was written back in early May, just prior to us finding out the news that Holly was pregnant again.  I was in a pretty dark place at the time, and we decided not to publish this post.  Looking back on it, many of the underlying themes are still present in our lives and we figured what the hell – let’s post it.  I’ve offered some updated thoughts in bold.

As I sit here in the waiting room of the hemotologist, waiting for my wife to been seen by the doctor in another attempt to try and find an answer as to why my daughter died suddenly other than “fluke” or “bad luck,” I had some free time to put some thoughts down regarding pet peeves.  Maybe it is the place in life I’m in, maybe it is spending Friday afternoon waiting for the inevitable “no reason” answer, but this post will come off more preachy and whiney than intended.  My apologies.

Ever since everything happened back in late January with Quinn, both my wife and I have been searching for answers.  “Why” seems to begin most sentences.  “Why did this happen to Quinn?” “Why did this happen to us?” “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  The day I went back to work, I rode the elevator up to my floor with my boss, who is a very quiet, intelligent person.  He asked how I was doing and I replied, “We are hanging in there.  Right now, we just want answers.”  His reply has stuck with me to this day.  He simply showed a soft, knowing smile and said, “You’ll never get all the answers.”

At the time, his answer hurt a little, as I was not in a place to fully grasp his reply.  But in the days that have passed, we did find out some answers – but deeper questions remain.  Now that we have an underlying cause as to why Quinn was taken from us, we can’t help but turn to the deeper questions – the ones my boss knew we’d never get the answers to – the “why did God (or whatever you believe in) let this happen,” and “why us?”

Since January, my wife and I have made significant progress towards moving forward through our grief.  There are good days and bad days, and not a day (probably even hour) goes by without thinking about Quinn and what should have been.  (As we have come to accept, grief is not linear.)  Through our journey, we have dealt with almost every cliché imaginable and we have dealt with the judgment of others and a generalized lack of empathy for our healing process.  An often said cliché that makes me wince is the “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” Is this really the God you want to believe in – that he allows terrible things to happen because you can handle it? Yet another cliché we’ve heard one too many times is “When you have another child, it will all be better” (umm, are we going back in time to bring Quinn back?)  Unless and until that happens, it won’t all be better.  Ironic that I had no clue what was in store for us.  This cliché has only be amplified since we found out we were pregnant. My thoughts on this haven’t changed at all.  For those holding their breath thinking that I will go back to being the person I was before Quinn died now that we have a second child on the way – spoiler alert – it’s not happening.   Speaking of, Holly pointed out to me the other day that we live life in a world of “ifs” while the rest of our friends and family live in a world of “whens.”  Everyone around us talks of “when this baby gets here” and we always say “if this baby gets here.”

 

While I’ve stated before that I’m not a religious person (some might use the Catholic term “Chreaster”), I was raised Catholic and spent 12 years of my life in Catholic education.  I’ve always believed in free will but with a romanticized version of a preferred path being out there with signs leading you to it.  I never fully believed in the Catholic mentality (something about telling a priest I swore and broke some rules but would be forgiven after 5 Our Fathers, 5 Hail Marys and 5 Glory Bes never struck a chord with me). However, since Quinn died, I’ve developed a new pet peeve regarding religion – the people who think everything that is good is “God’s will.” (Following this post, my boss suggested I read William P. Young’s The Shack.  While my own viewpoints have changed dramatically from B.Q. to A.Q., I am still unsure what I believe in.  I would echo my boss’ recommendation and suggest anyone struggling with loss or religion should pick up a copy and read it with an open mind.) 

Also, the need for people to share their good fortunes on social media bothers me to no end.  If I never see another #blessed, it will be too soon.  Do the people who hashtag “blessed” even understand what they are insinuating?  Oh, you’re blessed by God for getting a job, for passing the bar, for getting a raise, for _____ (insert trivial shit here).  What am I?  What is my wife?  #unblessed I guess.

Again, I’m not super religious (still haven’t been to church since Quinn died) but I don’t remember the Beatitude that stated “blessed are those who share their good fortunes on social media, for their statuses will be liked and shared.”  One I do remember is “blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”  The people that feel the need to share their good news on social media and who live and die by the “likes” or “retweets” wouldn’t be able to understand why someone else like myself isn’t overjoyed with their good fortunes.

I stopped writing here – thinking there was no way I would ever post this   I never concluded the original post, so I have the renewed opportunity to conclude it with the benefit of hindsight.  As we enter the holiday season and the inevitable “what are you thankful for” question gets asked this Thanksgiving, I know that my answer is an easy one.  I’m thankful for my wife.  Even after this post, some would use the #blessed if they were in my shoes.  While I am very fortunate that my path crossed Holly’s, I think she’ll be ok if I stop at simply saying I’m fortunate to have married her and thankful that I get to spend my life with her.  Also, for the many out there who are experiencing their family’s “firsts” this holiday season, try to be empathetic and understanding for those like Holly and myself who are also experiencing our “firsts.”  It will be our first thanksgiving without Quinn and our first Christmas without her.  While we do have some hope on the horizon, it doesn’t take away the emptiness we have in our hearts for what we are missing.  Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season to everyone out there, especially the #unblessed. 

6 thoughts on “#Unblessed by Chris

  1. oh, i’m in tears. it’s so nice to see the husband’s perspective – their voices are often forgotten. his love for you and Quinn is beautiful. And totally agree – fuck people and their #blessed posts!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oddly enough, I read The Shack – most of it, that is… I couldn’t get through it. The in depth Trinity talk started confusing me. Maybe it was my mental state at the time though… the #blessed people are annoying. They kind of offend me. I actually prefer #blessedasfuck to speak about the good things, as maybe this sort of hashtag would make them uncomfortable or call out the ridiculousness of it. And yeah, gotta wonder if anyone’s considering the flip side… #unblessed. Probably not. Thinking of you all on you first holidays without, sending strength.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think both Chris and I would agree with you that the trinity explanation in the book gets a little cloudy. There’s also a lot of fluff if you ask me, but it helped Chris with the struggle of “meant to be” or “God’s will” as we so often heard.

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