I think there’s a general feeling out there that once something truly bad happens to you, nothing bad will ever happen to you again. Or more specifically, nothing bad should ever happen to you again.
When I was pregnant with Annabel and I’d mention my fear of something going wrong with her pregnancy, countless people would reply, “Nothing is going to go wrong. You’ve suffered enough.” I wanted to believe that were true, but I knew better.
That whole “lightning never strikes twice” adage comes up a lot in grief circles because that is often what we have to tell ourselves to carry on every day. “I’ve already paid my price.” “It’s someone else’s turn.” It’s too terrifying to admit that actually, there is absolutely nothing preventing “The Bad” from striking again.
It’s hard to admit that so much is out of our control. You can ostensibly do everything right and things can still go haywire. I used to spend entire sessions talking to my therapist about how terrifying it felt to know I controlled so little of my life. The fear used to be overwhelming.
I still have moments when I really struggle with this, especially after last year’s miscarriage. It was a reminder that anything can happen. Anything. I am working to manage my fears but it isn’t easy, even four years in – I still find myself awake in the middle of the night, checking on my kids, my husband, my dog.
Sometimes the burdens other people carry seem unfathomable. The losses they have suffered are staggering. It’s impossible to comprehend why some people have to suffer so much. In the last four years, I’ve met so many people who’ve been dealt multiple blows, and it’s devastating. Life can be so unfair.