I have never been angry about Easter before. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

I’m probably going to get a lot of flack for this, but I promised myself that I would always be honest about how I’m grieving, so here it is.

I don’t know how to feel joyful about the fact that God sent his son to die and then resurrected him, but didn’t do the same for me. I’ve been to enough sermons to know that God could have just as easily chosen to let Jesus live. He could have just as easily chosen to let Eleanora—and all of the other babies who have left us far, far, far too soon—live. Why didn’t he? There is no earthly explanation that is good enough for me.

Last year at Easter, I was thirty weeks pregnant. Eleanora’s upcoming arrival was becoming almost tangible. I knew that, within seventy days, she would be here. What I didn’t know was that, within seventy days, she would die, and the rest of my life as a grieving parent would begin. I was so unbelievably happy, and I had no idea I was about to be tossed right into a living hell.

There is no other way to describe this feeling—knowing how blissfully happy I was, only to be ripped to shreds with no warning—than to say it feels like a giant slap in the face. I used to be someone who trusted God with my every move. Now, I don’t feel I can trust him with a single hair on my head. I don’t know how to celebrate the person who took my child away from me. Don’t tell me that Eleanora had to die because we live in a broken, fallen world or that God needed her more than I do. Don’t tell me that he didn’t “take” her from me. I’m sorry, but bullshit. If you believe that he didn’t actively “do” this, but instead just passively “allowed” it to happen—what is the difference? My daughter still isn’t here. Why would a God who loves me have any sort of active or passive role in the death of my child?

You will never convince me that my child was just a tally mark that had to be erased because humanity is broken. That child was the most beautiful, perfect human being who’d never committed a single sin. She never even got to take a breath or look me in the eye. You will never convince me that I need to be okay with that because “this is just how the world works; it’s broken.” You will never convince me that God needed Eleanora more than I do. If that’s true, if I didn’t need my daughter *that* much, then where has God been the days I’ve had to pull my car over because I can’t see to drive through my tears? Where has he been the nights I have collapsed to the floor in her nursery, begging for answers? Where was he the night my daughter died when she didn’t have to? He’s been in Heaven, where everything is fine, and I’ve been here.

How am I supposed to celebrate the God who did this to me?

How am I supposed to watch other children chase after hidden eggs and giggle over candy and smile about Jesus when my daughter should have been among them, but isn’t? I genuinely don’t know.

I’m not asking for answers. I’m not asking for platitudes or “it’s-going-to-be-okays.” I’m not asking for reprimanding or correction. This is how I feel. Just please sit with me and let me feel it.

Maybe someday, I will tire myself out from using God as my punching bag. There’s not a cell in my body that believes one day I’ll look up and say, “Oh, THIS. This is why Eleanora had to die. I understand now.” Maybe someday my wrists will be too tired and too bloody to throw any more punches. But that day is not today.

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