Everything Happens for a Reason…?

Rebecca Toal by Rebecca Toal Additional Needs

Rebecca Toal

Rebecca Toal

Blessed, busy mum to four beautiful girls, the youngest with complex special needs due to extreme prematurity. We are always looking for ways to ma...

Bowler writes that sometimes silence is the best response-

"The truth is that no one knows what to say. It's awkward. Pain is awkward. Tragedy is awkward. People's weird, suffering bodies are awkward. But take the advice of one man, who wrote to me with his policy: Show up and shut up."

YES! Totally agree with that! Often, we don’t have the right words to say. Mostly, those suffering just need to know you’re there, that you care.

Cliché phrases and lots of questions are NOT going to help.

One phrase that people like to offer as condolences for one’s suffering, or loss, is:

“Everything happens for a reason”.

Come on…really?

Now I take great comfort in my faith in God, and His love and presence in my life. But I accept that I live in a mixed-up, often evil world where lots of bad things happen.

Suffering and pain exists in all of our lives.

Imagine saying to me “Everything happens for a reason” in any of these circumstances.

~Losing my dad to cancer before my sixth birthday.

~My daughter develops seizures at six months old, and continues to have seizures and be on medication for epilepsy (she’s almost 9 now).

~My baby dies inside me after just 16 weeks. She’s perfect and tiny, but painfully still as I hold her in the palm of my hand.

~ Brielle is born far too early and struggles to live for six whole months and a week in the neonatal intensive care.

~ She is then diagnosed with multiple disabilities as a result of her being premature. DISABILITIES. I thought my baby was going to be “fine”.

~One of our best friends is diagnosed with terminal liver cancer at just 40 years old. He’s Daddy to five beautiful children.

These are some of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with in my life.

I know each of you reading will have your own list, too.

Having a child with special or complex needs is difficult. It’s never helped when someone commented on poor wee Brielle, “ah bless, well everything happens for a reason, and you’re the best mum for her”.

It hurts, and it’s difficult to see her many daily struggles, and the things she can’t do.

Sometimes the best things my friends can do, is just BE there, and say nothing at all.


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