My Child Died, And No Cliché Makes It Okay

by Caila Smith
Originally Published: 

Trigger Warning: Child Loss

For some reason, a handful of good-hearted people try filling the void in child loss with a Rolodex of useless clichés.

“They are in a better place.”

“It was their time.”

Or my personal favorite, “Everything happens for a reason.”

Blah. Blah. Blah. I hate you, people.

While I know your intents are of sound mind and a loving heart, I don’t need help making sense of a loss I will never understand.

I’m sure it’s easier as a bystander looking in. But to me, I’ll never understand why bottles of shampoo resided in my house longer than my daughter did.

I’ll never get how the old and grown family dogs witnessed her coming into the world and lay fast asleep beside her as she was leaving it. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, and I will never comprehend this fallout of my reality.

At times, I’ve driven myself nearly mad praying, bargaining, and pleading for an answer to this tragedy. I will never move on from her loss, but I can’t allow myself to linger in the questionable stage of my grief — I’ve already lived there, and it’s far too difficult to return.

So please, don’t tell me she died for some majestic reason, when neither you or I know what that particular reason is. It’s too hard, and no sixth sense could help me grasp the logic behind it.

Sure, if we wouldn’t have lost her, we wouldn’t have gotten pregnant again. Therefore, we wouldn’t have our beautiful rainbow babies who I could not live this life without.

If she didn’t pass away, I wouldn’t be filled with a passion to advocate for other bereaved parents, and I probably wouldn’t spend my free time raising awareness for pregnancy and infant loss.

But to say she died for these events to come to pass through me makes me feel sick on the inside. Because she didn’t deserve to die. She was just a baby, my baby. And it wasn’t her time to leave this earth. She still had so much living left to do.

After two years, I’ve lived more of my life without my daughter than with her. Please, tell me how that could ever be justified or made light of?

Maybe there is some God-abiding reason, and if you can see it, then great. But I never will. My child’s death stamped a measly sentence in your life book, but it’s encompassed chapters of mine. The brutality of it all will always hit me stronger than it does you, in every single aspect.

I still have days where the trauma of it all steals the very breath sustaining my lungs. In those moments, don’t hush my un-fixable pain with something uplifting and fluffed up. Let me feel all of the feelings — rage, sadness, loneliness, bitterness and sorrow. Because no amount of feel good words will ever bring my daughter back home.

I’m so far from self-pitying it’s not even funny, but I am entitled to grieve. When my daughter died, the world literally stopped spinning. I know everyone says that, but you don’t realize the truth that phrase carries until you’ve lived it yourself.

Some days, my world still stops, and the realness of my grief makes me feel like I’m reliving that horrible October morning all over again.

In those times, I understand you don’t have the right words to say. Nobody does. I remember when I lived a life without significant loss, and I know the better half of you means well. But don’t fill the quiet and awkward spots in conversation with meaningless clichés, because my child’s death could never be okay.

Instead, just walk with me until the ground beneath my feet starts spinning once again.

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