Karma is something I used to believe in.
“What goes around, comes around,” right?
Karma is supposed to mean that bad things happen to people because they have done bad things. Getting their just desserts, if you like.
This concept is something I have struggled with since Hugo was born, and even more since he died. What happened to me was so rare. Our baby dying was unthinkable. Surely it must have been because I am a bad person?
Such thoughts have plagued me, as well as guilt. For a long time, I thought it was my fault.
I tormented myself, punished myself.
Seeing the group of mums and prams at the café in the local park this morning gave me a heavy heart. When I was pregnant, I was looking forward to those groups. Am I unable to join them because I am a bad person?
Of course not.
I threw myself in to writing, and Hugo’s Legacy. A way of proving to myself that I deserved to still be here. A means of avoiding thinking the darkest thoughts.
I have had to tell myself that my blog traffic does not in any way correlate to my worth as a person.
I have had to remind myself that while Hugo’s Legacy is a reflection of my love for Hugo, what it achieves, or how quickly does not correspond to how much I love him. Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that.
I know, rationally, that what happened is not my fault. HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia are entirely arbitrary. It is bad luck that it happened to me. It is especially bad luck that it happened to me so early in my pregnancy.
‘Luck’ – there is a fanciful term. Chance. The roll of a dice that meant my chemical pathology reacted with the workings of the placenta that meant my pregnancy nearly killed me, and it killed my baby boy.
What happened is not a sign that I needed to be knocked down so I could come back stronger, or any similar well-intentioned quote about grief.
I did not need this to happen. I did not deserve it. Nor did Martin, or Hugo.
I am a good person, loving, compassionate, generous, and kind.
What happened is nothing to do with karma.
There are times when life doesn’t work out the way you want to. Sometimes, with tragic consequences. We are not all dealt an equal hand. Life is not fair.
That doesn’t mean I accept it, or feel sanguine about it. It sucks, I hate it, I rage at it.
But I have to find a way to live with it. My bad luck.
A friend posted this on Facebook this morning. A quote that spoke to me:
Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
(Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are).
I am brave, and worthy of love and belonging. I will try to remember that. I will continue to be a good person, not from fear of karma, but because it is the right thing to do.
What goes around doesn’t always come around.