As human beings we tend to ask "Why?" a lot. It seems like we are always looking for someone to blame. And it makes me crazy - especially in politics. Sometimes we never get an answer to "Why?" and truthfully, most of the time, it truly doesn't matter. As my dad always says, "I don't care who is to blame, I just want a solution."And as Tom Hanks says in Sleepless in Seattle, "There was nothing anyone could do. And it's not fair. But if we start asking why, we'll go crazy." Can you see how these things go together? As I'm typing it out I'm not sure it makes sense - it is almost 2 am, after all. But I just got an answer of "why" and felt I needed to record it.
On the day between finding out our little baby, Sam, had no heartbeat and going in for a d & c we struggled....a lot. It is awful to have 2 days to think. It's awful to try to explain to your kids why Mom and Dad are crying and robotic and don't really care about much of anything you say. It's awful to see all the posts on Facebook talking about what Planned Parenthood is doing. I think there was a part of Sam that wondered if that's what the d & c was like. Maybe not. But it seemed that he was extremely distressed by the idea of a d & c. Maybe he just didn't know what that was. I know he desperately wanted the doctor to be wrong. We decided to visit with our bishop on that Wednesday night. It was a meeting with a lot of tears and a lot of compassion from our wonderful bishop. He gave Sam a blessing and that seemed to change everything for Sam. That was when I knew Sam would be ok. The bishop told us it was ok to ask "why" and, that if we asked in prayer, God would let us know in His time. I remember feeling like that was a weird thing to say. I thought "why doesn't matter" and "it won't change anything" and "there isn't anyone to blame" and probably a lot of other things too. But his words stuck with me.
Not long ago I was visiting with my neighbor/visiting teacher/Relief Society president and she said the same thing - that it was ok to ask God "why" and expect an answer. She used almost the same words the bishop did. That's when I decided maybe I needed to ask "why." So I did. In the temple the other night. I prayed and cried sitting in the celestial room. I had already been thinking about how thin the veil is between heaven and earth and to be in that room just confirmed it. I prayed and told God what I had been told, twice, and that I wasn't sure it mattered if I knew why. But that if I needed to know, to please tell me. And I didn't receive an answer there in the temple. It wasn't until tonight about 1:30 after we'd been woken up by our dog when some neighborhood dogs came into our yard and caused a racket.
As I was trying to go back to sleep I snuggled the blanket I am making for baby Sam. I was thinking about what I had been told. Then suddenly, almost as if someone was talking, I heard/thought, "It was because HE needed this."
It may not sound like much of an answer. I suppose it really doesn't answer why this happened to me. But for whatever reason, baby Sam needed this experience. He was so perfect he only needed to be on the earth for 11 weeks. And this experience is at least as much for him as it is for me.
After we found out there was no heartbeat he was so close. Every time I even started thinking about him I could see his little round face and blond head in my mind. He was right there. Then after the d & c he was gone. I could still see the same background in my mind - but he was missing. That might sound creepy or weird. But it didn't feel that way to me. I guess it was the way I knew he was truly not on earth any more. I felt like he kept telling me not to worry about him. And, I felt him learning. I truly felt like he was completely gone for several days. Like he might even be slightly frustrated that I kept wishing he would be close to me. I kept trying to tell him I wasn't worried about him, I wasn't even sad for him. I was sad and worried for me. And he came back. He's not ever present in my mind now, but he is sticking close. I believe this was something he had to learn about mortal beings. It truly felt devastating that he was just gone. I often feel Lily close - but he was just....gone. And he didn't really want me to call him back. But I can tell he is learning. He has been closer lately. I don't really know how to describe it. I can tell he's there sometimes. Like right now. And now we both know that this trial happened to us because he needed to learn something.
That's not to say I can't learn anything from this trial. I certainly can. I'm not truly sure what I am supposed to get out of this trial, yet. And maybe that's what I can pray for next - when my spirit is ready to know. Truthfully, why doesn't seem to matter to me this time around. I remember wondering why a lot when we lost Lily. It didn't help that it was Christmas time and everyone kept talking about baby Jesus and his miraculous birth. I found myself focusing a lot on why could God save Jesus, but not my baby. I learned over a long period of time that it was a lot bigger than just why God didn't save my baby. I needed to learn from that experience - and I learned a lot. I never would have started a closet for angel clothes, written patterns for angel clothes, or joined Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep if I hadn't known there was a need. I needed to know there was a need that I could fulfill. Something I could do that not many people could. These things have brought a LOT into my life. And I wouldn't trade those things I know. That doesn't mean I don't wish my sweet Lily was on earth with me, I do. I wish she was here. But I know I wouldn't be the person I am today if she was here. And that knowledge gives me some peace. I don't know if it made sense typing it out - have I mentioned it's about 2 am - but it does give me peace. I finally found "why" to that trial after searching and asking for several years.
Knowing why doesn't change anything, but it can bring peace. And I have peace tonight. I know at least part of why we lost baby Sam. HE needed this trial. HE needed to learn about mortal beings, and since his life was so short, he is learning a lot through me, through being my child that I love and miss and wish was here with me. Someday I am sure I will have the eternal perspective that won't wish things were different. But I am missing that right now. I wish I could hold my perfect little ones (they are not babies in heaven - they are kids that are growing and changing). But I know that God has a plan. I try to remember that, and it's really hard sometimes. But someday we will all be together and this trial won't seem so long and hard. And until then, when I feel really down and needing to be with my babies, I can visit the temple where the veil between heaven and earth is especially thin.