Saturday, December 15, 2012

The What-If Game

The other day, I saw a bunch of Dr. Seuss stuff on one of those daily sale websites, and it made me think about when Jeff and I were talking about how to decorate Luke's room... It sort of set off this thought process of what-if scenarios in which Luke somehow makes it, and everything played out the way it was supposed to.

What if I didn't take that pregnancy test on Friday January 13th?

What if he was a girl?

What if we decorated his room in Dr. Seuss instead of Star Wars?

What if we named him Neil instead of Luke like Jeff wanted to at first?

What if I hadn't woken up on my back so many times?

What if we'd had his baby shower earlier? What if he could feel how totally unprepared we were till those last couple weeks?

What if I hadn't gone to Coachella? Would that have had something to do with this? It was at 18 weeks, so I figure it doesn't, but what if I just hadn't gone?

What if I hadn't helped PJ up into the car that week?

What if I'd had a stress test that Friday at the OB? Or a 4D ultrasound? Things they do for high-risk mamas? Would we have known that he was in trouble? That his cord was wrapped too tight?

What if I'd decided to go to the hospital sometime on Saturday? Would he still have been there with a heartbeat? Would they have been able to save him?

And then there's the worst one? What if I got to be Luke's mommy outside of the womb? We were so close.

Part of me has always sort of believed in a sort of fatalism--that whatever will happen in our lives...will happen. I believe we have influence over our lives, but obviously, we aren't in control. If that's the one thing I've learned from losing Luke, that's it--There is nothing we could've done to change this outcome this time. There was no seeing this coming. There was nothing to warn us. And so it happened. Had we had a warning, or something to tell us something was wrong, we would've had some influence on the situation...but not this time.

And I'm not saying there's a reason. I don't believe there is. It's just...the actions of the universe. And we're just humans--living in it.

There's a line in a song by Bright Eyes that's always struck me--since the first time I heard it. It goes like this:

Everything that happens
Is supposed to be
And it's all predetermined
Can't change your destiny
Guess I'll just keep moving
Someday maybe
I'll get to where I'm going

I kinda can't help but feel like this has never applied to me more.


  1. I too have gone through the What If scenarios! What if I did that or what if I didnt do that? It is so hard! I am so sorry that we are experiencing this! You are in my thoughts & prayers.

  2. Just yesterday I read this quote from Pema Chodron:

    "Many of us prefer practices that will not cause discomfort, yet at the same time we want to be healed. But bodhichitta training doesn’t work that way. A warrior accepts that we can never know what will happen to us next. We can try to control the uncontrollable by looking for security and predictability, always hoping to be comfortable and safe. But the truth is that we can never avoid uncertainty. This not knowing is part of the adventure, and it’s also what makes us afraid."

    It is human nature to play the what-if game, but you're exactly right--there is nothing you (or anyone) could've done to change this. All you can do is trust that you will eventually get to where you're going. I trust that for you and all of us. ♥ ♥ ♥

  3. As I was hearing the stuff come out about the children at Sandy Hook, I thought, "all their parents dreams for their futures is now over. What if..." and then of course, I thought of Luke and his what if's.

    There was no reason for your loss, nothing you or Jeff or PJ or doctors or any of your friends or family could have done, and yet those words will be with us for a long time.

    And it sucks ass. We love you guys.

  4. We're all so good at the What-If Game. But it never actually helps. That realization sucks. Everything about this sucks.