In life we are often taught to find the “why”? Why does the sun rise? Why do we only see the stars at night? Why does John like Kim, instead of me? Why Brittany?
If anyone has spent any amount of time with a 3, 4, or 5 year old, they know this all too well. We ask why, to learn, to understand, to gain knowledge, to find comfort. So, it is natural for us to continue asking “why” when good and bad things come our way.
I was reminded of this when I had the joy of spending a few days with my sweet, great nephew, Oliver. It was like he knew that I was struggling with “the why”. I needed his innocence to remind me that adults don’t have all of the answers. Our knowledge allows us to answer most of “the whys” in life. But, at times, there are no words or answers that address “the why”.
I think it’s much easier to wrap our minds around the “why” of good things. Why did I get this promotion? I work hard and I did my job well. Why did I get to marry such a wonderful man? I’m a kind and loving person. Why did I get to go on vacation? I saved my money and vacation time to make it happen.
It’s when bad things hit, that we often find ourselves struggling with “the why”. It often leads to self deprecating thoughts because we just want an answer to calm our mind. Why did he break up with me? I’m not pretty enough. Why didn’t I get the promotion? I’m not smart enough. While our answers aren’t always a comfort, they bring some closure to our thoughts.
But, when extreme sadness hits, and we ask “why”, we quickly learn that, at times, there are no answers. We have to learn that each of us focuses on different things to comfort ourselves and cope with that pain in different ways.
For the most part, I do my best to stay mentally busy and out of the “why” phase. But, at times, it creeps in and gets the best of me. I find much comfort in the differing views, comforting mechanisms, and ways others have worked through their “why”. There is no right or wrong way to comfort ones self after a tragic event or the sudden loss of a loved one. But, I have learned that there are many different and varying ways depending on beliefs and differing personalities. At times, when there is no clear cut answer, the best we can do is find a way to comfort our hurting hearts.
Why, My Daughter?
Recently, on a particularly emotional day, I posted the following question:
“Why my beloved daughter? Why? She had so much left to give. Why Brittany? That is all.”
I wasn’t looking for sympathy. I wasn’t looking for attention. I wanted an answer. An answer that would calm my soul, stop the tears, and allow my brain to “rest”. I value the love that surrounds me and it was those that understand such sadness, that were able to comfort my mind in that moment.
I’m going to share a few of the messages shared with me, that brought comfort. We are all very different in the way we deal with loss. Some of us cry. Some of us get angry. Some of us share. Some of us stay quiet. It is in those differences that we can learn from one another.
I appreciate those that took the time to share their “light” with me. It brought me comfort at a time when I needed it. While some shared comforts due to religious beliefs, others shared a “chosen” type of belief because of her strength, and others chose to just hug my heart; they all, were comforting in differing ways. She was exceptional. She did make a difference. She did share and spread love. She did empower others. She is still “with me”. For all of those reasons, I did find comfort in the words shared by others.
Here are several of the healing comments made on my post. In sharing them, I hope that those of you struggling with loss, might too find comfort.:
-“Why is correct! Why any of the precious ones so full of promise and humanity…those who respect life and nature and have a dire need to help others….WHY? I ask myself everyday. Why? And in my question of Why and prayers i ask what did I learn from them and I think of Cindy, Micheal, Elizabeth, Giovanni and Brittany…Why, why, why. The answer is alway: love the moment you are experience now, no matter how painful. Yes, sometimes I want to scream, and yes I cry, but i know deep within my very being they are asking more of us and empowering us to caring on. Deborah Ziegler you are loved by many and set an example for all of us who have lost our loved ones. Your courage is inspirational to me and many others. Much love and appreciation.” C.D.
-“When my father died in a drowning accident couldn’t understand anything because he had taught me to swim and I was wondering why a thousand times because my father? Because to me? And the priest told me because he’s never going to have to answer just his earthly life was fulfilled and this is where you are going to take care of her experience is here, little by little I was resigning myself to the your loss but there’s a before and after sending you strength Best wishes” C.P. (Automatically Translated)
-“Sadly there is no answer my dear. Why illness? Why suffering? Why death? All we mortals can do is love one another. Love is the only thing that lives on. Please know how much you are loved.” S.H
-“No words my friend. . . Find comfort in this quote ” people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime” . . . How precious that Britt’s short life had such a profound impact for others. She had a reason“F.H.
-“Why Brittany? Because Brittany was exceptional! She was the one, with Christy O’Donnell, and the likes, who were the young faces of a cause that was full of old people! She made pain, grief, and death something we young ones openly spoke of! She made us plan for tomorrow! She made thousands fight for others! Be selfless! She taught us more in her years than many ever will! She could do it! She was one of a kind!” S.O.
-“As with my mom, I wish I could take your pain away. Why Brittany? Who else was strong enough to push open such a big door for others? Who else had the biggest voice to be heard when she spoke? Who else was selfless enough to lead by example so that others might not suffer like she did? Sending you a huge hug and I know that there are no words to ease your pain. But you were, are and always will be the mother of a leader even if she was your one wild and precious life.“J.G.
-“We will never know why dear one. Sometimes it just wells up and takes your breath away. Missing and loving you.”S.W.
-“My arms are wrapped all the way around you with my heart open wide to help carry your intense pain… your love is overwhelming, as it should be.” T.S.