i can’t…

I am mad at God.

There. I said it.

I’ve felt it before in my life, but I have never said it out loud.

I am mad and confused and angry and tired.

This feeling has been hanging on since August 14, the “anniversary” of Cortney’s dad’s death.

I can’t shake the anger.

And now…more screwed up stuff.

More senseless loss.

I can’t shake this huge weight of anger from my heart and mind.

Why? What is the point?

What is the point of carrying a pregnancy full term for the first time only to lose a baby over some rare heart condition?

What is the point of being an amazing man who touched so many lives just to get sick and die before you ever meet a grandchild?


Why meet the perfect person for you just to have that person tragically killed?

I don’t want the scripture or the “there is a plan” or whatever “good comes out of all things”.

I just don’t know if I believe that anymore.  The part about good coming out of all situations.  I just don’t know that that is true anymore.

Actually I do know. It’s not. It’s not true.

This is where you will want to tell me that it is not for me to question God’s plans. Or to know all that is going to happen. Or maybe you want to tell me that this Big Good will happen away from my life or beyond my life or out of my knowledge. You want to tell me to quit questioning God.

I call bullshit on that.

I can’t help but question all things. It’s who I am.

My husband’s family watched their dad, husband, SON, brother, cousin disappear into a pile of tumors and then death. There is no Big Good big enough to make that “worth it” or Ok.

Three babies dying to a faithful, loving, family has zero good in it. You can’t tell that mother that losing THREE SONS meant that some Big Good could take place. I cannot think of a single thing that would be worth that.

You try to tell that widow that her life (or anyone’s life) is now BETTER because her husband is dead.  Try saying that out loud.

Something is better because someone you loved DIED.

That something better be the cure for cancer or evil or world hunger because I can’t think of any other way anything could be better.

God is in control of ALL things.

ALL things.

Even bad things?  He controls that?  Then why are people saying “that wasn’t God, that was the Devil”.


So it comes back to it was “in the plan” or it means something “better can happen.”

I don’t believe that.  I don’t believe good comes out of all bad.

I don’t think any good at all comes from babies born into poverty with AIDS to then suffer and die.  No good comes from that.

I don’t think any good comes from being born into a war-torn country as a completely innocent citizen just to die from a drone raid. No good.

I haven’t given up on God and my faith.

I know it sounds like that.

I still unwaveringly believe there is a God. I believe that Jesus was love and taught love and that love is the answer.

What I don’t agree with is that Love and Good conquer all the bad all the time.

That is like telling everyone who ever lost someone they were praying for that they didn’t LOVE hard enough.

I don’t have any answers today. I don’t have any absolutes that I believe right now.

I am angry.

I am angry at God.

I hope he and I can work this out because I don’t want to hold a grudge, but man I don’t get it. I don’t.

And right now I just can’t make peace with “Katie, you’re not supposed to get it.”

That isn’t enough for me.


He quietly came into my first hour each day, still shrugging off sleep at 7:30am.

‘Morning, Mrs. Sluiter.

He took his place against the wall in the back.  Chatting with his neighbors.

Slowly waking up his contagious smile.

After lunch he always breezed into my room again…this time to chat with his friends before hurrying to his fifth hour.

You have me again this hour, Mrs. Sluiter.  Or at least you wish you did, don’t you?  Miss me yet?

He ran track.

He had lots of friends.

He was nice to everyone.

I wonder…

did he love to run when he was a toddler?

did his mother have to chase him in stores and through the yard?

did he have that easy smile when he was young or did he hide behind his mother’s legs?

did his mom count his fingers and toes and gaze into his eyes when he was born?

did she tousle his hair as she tucked him in at night?

did he like to hear the same book over and over every night before bed?

did he have chubby toddler hands and elbows when he was small?

did he make his mom presents in school?

did he always make friends so easily?

did he always work so hard?

did he tell his family he loved them often?  What about that day?

did his mom tell him to be careful when he went to the pool knowing he couldn’t swim and worrying about him?

did he hug his friends?  his family?

did he know who loved him?


he should be taking driver’s ed and worrying about pimples.

he should be keeping in shape for another season of track.

he should be thinking about his junior year.

he should be with his friends enjoying a free summer.

he should be.  but he’s not.

I better have you for Spanish 2, Mrs. Sluiter.  Or I might just switch to French.  Just kidding!

On the last day of school he walked out of the room with everyone else.

It was first hour so they all had five more “lasts” to go.  Mine wasn’t all that special.

But he waved.

Have a great summer, Mrs. Sluiter!

“You guys have a super summer too!  Come back safe to me in the fall!”

my heart is so full of sadness.

he was someone’s friend, cousin, nephew…but all I can think about is how he was someone’s son.

someone’s little boy.

someone’s joy.

he was a newborn swaddled and smelling fresh.

he was a curious toddler

he was a big boy starting school.

he was an awkward middle schooler.

he was a well-liked, athletic, friendly high school student.

the list shouldn’t have to stop there.

it just shouldn’t.

my heart and prayers go out to all who knew him…but mostly?

I am thinking and praying for his family.

Specifically his mother.

she shouldn’t have to bear this.

this shouldn’t be how life is.

mothers outliving sons.

mothers with empty arms.

it just shouldn’t be.


my heart and prayers go to V’s family and friends.

i will miss his face…and his smile.