Everything happens for a reason.
Everything will work out in the end.
God has a plan.
I want to be on record as saying that, if something terrible befalls me or my family, please don’t say these things to me.
I understand that people say these things in order to be encouraging and out of the hope that what ever hard thing someone is facing will somehow be “worth it” in the end. I understand that there is a human desire to feel like there is a narrative to our lives and that bad things must be serving to advance a plot that leads relentlessly to a happy ending.
The problem with those cliches though is that they feel to me to put pressure on the person who is struggling. Like, c’mon, get past your suffering to the point where you can tell me who this was really a good thing in your life. Which then has the whole implication that if you can’t get to the point where your sad thing is valuable lesson that you are glad you had, well, then- – maybe you, suffering person, are doing it wrong.
But I’ve been spending some time lately with someone who wanted to be a parent (and who was, actually, a parent for too short a time) and who was/would have been an amazing parent. Their life is still a good and full one, but that unfilled hope is a hole that I don’t know will ever be filled. And when I think about them, my first crazy thought is “I’ll tell them I’ll be a surrogate!” but then I remember I kind of can’t actually get pregnant. So then I think about how it just sucks that they don’t get to be a parent and that I just don’t think there is some divine reason for them to have been denied the chance to share their love with a kid. It was just timing and external factors that worked against them.
I read a quote once that said “somethings in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”