Date: 2012-10-11 01:57 am (UTC)
A slightly different perspective because that - unfortunately very common - viewpoint is a superstitious lottery/penance mix of crazy.

We had our baby baptised before her heart surgery because I wanted her to be ritually welcomed into the church, although as both of the priests involved assured me, she was already loved and belonged to God, baptised or not. God loves sparrows and lilies, of course God loves babies. God gave us brains and compassion to become doctors and researchers and nurses and medicine, glorious wonderful medicine - there's a bunch of Orthodox saints who are doctors for that very reason.

When I was in those months of not knowing if our daughter would die or not, I felt like I needed to pray not so I could rack up enough points or somehow persuade God that my child deserved a miracle - all babies deserve miracles - it was saying basically this sucks, this is awful, I love her so much, take care of her.

And then thinking okay, if babies can die in pain, then there has to be a much bigger reason. It can't be to teach me a lesson because I couldn't be that cruel, and God is by definition way better than me, it can't be because the baby deserved it because hello, baby, so it has to be for some much bigger stranger part of life that these terrible things happen. And if something like this can happen, then those other awful things where I think I know who's to blame and what caused it - I'm probably only seeing a tiny part of that too. And I realised that the world is far more complex and terrible and still beautiful, if a baby can die for no clear reason. I can know the how but the why - that's a mystery I walked right up to and still don't understand. I don't know if I ever will. I know I didn't deserve my daughter to live by being "good". I didn't deserve her to die because I sinned. She lived because of a million small things coming together - that infection wasn't serious, this brilliant surgeon had seen that complication before - but there were a million things that could've gone wrong too. And babies did die while we were in the hospital. Babies and children and people die terrible painful deaths all the time, and it doesn't make sense. It can't make sense. God makes no sense to me. But I still believe.

Accepting that helped. I think people fear the chaos, and do have a religion where if you do the right things, if you feel/wish hard enough, if you follow the rules, you'll be safe - is immensely comforting. Wrong, especially with the victim blaming, but I can see why people prefer that to accepting the chaos and mystery of the world and still going on.

Also people say stupid things to grieving people all the time. I wince at the dumbass things I have said and probably will say. Grief feels contagious and terrifying and people want to box it up and fix it so they don't have to witness it.
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