Mondays are usually my favorite day of the week. I love the fresh feeling of a new week ahead of me, with so many opportunities to achieve my goals and have good conversations along the way. This morning, though, I was a little bit stressed out. Being a business owner means I have to a lot more than just sit down and write. By the time I schedule live shows for my Youtube channel, answer emails, check in with my business partner, answer Twitter messages, create promotional images, get in touch with site designers, or check anything else off of my mile long to-do list, I often have very little time to actually write. Today felt especially frustrating. I didn’t even have a topic in mind, I only had an hour or so to write, and the siren call of procrastination was strong.
Yes, I have a tendency towards laziness.
And then I saw the news.
Charlie Gard’s parent’s have ended their legal battle. It’s too late for the experimental treatment in the United States which had a chance to save his life to work.
It’s over. Charlie Gard is going to die, barring a true God given miracle. I am heartbroken.
Yes, I’m crying in the coffee shop. As a parent, watching Chris Gard and Connie Yates share the news with the media, I can’t hold back the tears.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) July 24, 2017
As a fellow parent, especially a mother, I know that a bond between a parent and a child is incomparable. I find myself being able to picture with painful clarity what it would be like to be Connie Yates this morning. Waking up, taking a shower, putting a pretty purple bow in her hair, trying to hold the little things together as her entire world shatters. Trying not to cry, to stay strong, to know that no matter what happens, she had to have the strength to be there for her tiny little boy.
I wonder if she felt alone, knowing that even though hundreds of thousands (and perhaps millions) of people were standing behind her, it ultimately might come down to just the three of them, in a hospital room, a tiny family saying goodbye, knowing that more could have been done and was not.
Losing my child is my worst fear. Any parent would agree. It is never easy, it is never right, it is never natural for a parent to bury their baby.
But to bury your baby, knowing that more treatments were available, knowing that the United States was ready to welcome you with open arms, knowing that you would easily have the money for the treatments, knowing that your own government sentenced your innocent child to death, is a pain that I cannot imagine any person having to bear.
Yet bear that pain Connie Yates will, along with Chris Gard.
Charlie Gard has suffered in his short life. But the suffering Charlie has felt will soon be met with peace.
The suffering of Connie Yates and Chris Gard will never truly be met with peace.
They will eventually die. Before that, they will hopefully forgive those who have wronged them, and find their own peace in letting go. But their story will live on into the future. Their story is a condemnation not just of the British government, but a tragic condemnation of all of us, and of how our distorted and broken view of suffering has corrupted the human spirit across the world.
I sit here, crying, embarrased. I did a nice job with my makeup this morning, not wanting to have to re-do it before my live show this evening. Now, my nose is dripping snot, my eyes are red and my mascara is smudged, and I will have to find time to do my makeup yet again while my toddler runs around. I’m enjoying a cup of tea, and it would be so much easier to push this article off, to another time, when no one is watching me. Or, at the very least, to write it in such a way that I keep myself on the outside looking in. Just the facts. Just the logic.
I don’t want to think about Chris Gard’s trip to the restroom, where he takes a little too long, splashing cold water on his face, trying to gather the willpower to be the rock that he knows his wife needs him to be.
I don’t want to think about Charlie Gard, being poked and prodded by nurses and doctors, as they and his family determine when they will take his tiny body off of life support.
And most of all, I don’t want to think about Connie Yates, holding her baby boy to her chest, stroking his tiny little head, playing with his teeny fingers, whispering to him that he would no longer feel pain, that he was going home to God soon, that he would be in the most beautiful paradise where everything would be beautiful and nothing would hurt. Telling him that he would meet her again, reassuring him that she and his dad would be just fine, that they would use his case to help other little babies who were fighting to get well.
I don’t want to think about those things, or to write those words, because they just hit too close to home.
I don’t want to write those words, out of some illogical fear that that will make them real for me, and for my child someday.
I don’t want to be embarrassed.
I don’t want someone to come up to me and ask why I am crying.
I don’t want to walk home with makeup dripping down my cheeks.
I don’t want to suffer.
But I must.
Our world is full of suffering. We cannot fully escape suffering, no matter what we try. I am not implying that pointless suffering is virtuous, or that we should allow people to suffer when we can relieve their pain, but the idea that we can somehow eradicate suffering is incredibly dangerous.
I wrote about it on Twitter a little while ago:
When you decide that no one can suffer, tyranny follows. The government becomes a tool to not protect basic rights, but to alleviate pain. Any pain – hunger, poverty, physical pain, hurt feelings, etcetera. The problem with this is that when you take it to it’s logical conclusion, it becomes a death cult.
“We must have abortion, so children will not suffer at the hands of parents who don’t want them.”
“We must have abortion, because the child will die anyway from their severe illnesses”
“We must have abortion, lest the mother suffer by having the child.”
“We must have euthanasia, so this elderly person will no longer have to suffer.”
These examples will continue to go further and further. It is a societal certainty. Now we are allowing the government to decide a 10 month old child cannot continue to live. The truth, not “my truth” not “a truth”, is that suffering exists for every human soul. Like so many things, our response to suffering is what will ultimately cause us the most pain. I started tackling my lifelong anxiety by doing the opposite of every instinct. And for the first time since I was 12, I feel like I can win. Because I’m learning to not fight the suffering, but to accept it. In fact, with anxiety and specifically OCD, I actively seek it out. The pain I fear became my pain. This is what we are seeing with our society. Progressivism seeks to eliminate pain. By doing so, they create more pain. And the ultimate end is a suicidal death cult.
The logical conclusion is this: if suffering is to be avoided at all costs, life must be avoided. For all lives will bear suffering. I remember thinking my “elders” were dramatic when they spoke in these terms.
They were right.
Today, I accept the “suffering” of having to rush to write, of having my makeup be ruined, of feeling silly in public, and of feeling the very real pain of empathy for another. Because I know that in some small way, my working hard might make the world better.
It seems so silly, doesn’t it? So silly that I would seek to avoid tiny inconveniences and sad thoughts while the Gard family experiences the ultimate pain.
There is one way that Chris Gard and Connie Gard’s suffering could end in peace. We can use this tragic story to end our tyrannical government overreach, and more broadly, to re-create a culture of life.
We all have the tendency to run from suffering. All of us. But we must tread carefully in our attempt to help ourselves and to help others.