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Thoughts After a Stillbirth

Thoughts After a Stillbirth

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I think my doctor meant well. Trying to console me after the news that my full-term baby would not make it, he drily said, “Look, it’s like being struck by lightning. There’s no rhyme or reason for it, and hopefully, it won’t happen again. Every almond tree has some almonds that turn out to be bad crop ... ”

No! I didn’t want to hear that my gargantuan loss was just random. I needed to believe that there was meaning to it. That while I may never know why it had to happen, but surely, there was a reason that it did.

The words of the Ba’al Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, echoed in my mind. He taught that the smallest details of life, such as the movement of a leaf, is orchestrated by Divine Providence. For G‑d is not only concerned with cataclysmic events; He is also concerned with providing shade for a worm in the broiling sun. Reb Shneur Zalman of Liadi added that even the way the leaf will move—whether by wind or by a child gleefully kicking it—is determined by a Higher Power.

I took comfort in knowing that if such minute details are part of a master plan, it was not for “nothing” that I carried a child for nine months. A Jewish soul had to be conceived by a Jewish mother, and for whatever reason, G‑d chose me to be the one.

And now I can look back and envision myself responding, “Sorry, Doc. I am not at the mercy of some cruel fate, but under the loving care of G‑d Himself.”

Thoughtstream: Today, I will remember that any circumstance I find myself in is predetermined by G‑d Himself.

(Adapted from Igrot Kodesh, vol. 5, p. 65.)

Sara Blau is a teacher and extracurricular director at Beth Rivkah High School. She is a wife, mother, and author of several children“s books.
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