A Reason.

by Lori Dwyer on March 1, 2011 · 47 comments

I’ve always believed everything happens for a reason.

It’s difficult, to believe that, when something like this happens. It’s not so much difficult to keep believing it- although that’s hard enough as it is- it’s difficult to have believed it in the first place.

It’s feels cruel. It feels like I’ve been naive, ignorant. That the world is a much harsher, colder, far lonelier place than I had imagined.

How can I believe things happen for a reason, when such a brilliant person is gone from the world? What reason can there be for that? That two children have lost their father, the light of their tiny lives? How could there be a reason for that, what could possibly make that fair?

Nothing. Nothing at all. There is nothing that can come out of this, nothing that eventuate from this, that is worth my heart breaking like this. That is worth the kind of confusing, earthquaking pain and disruption my son is feeling right.

Nothing, that could be worth the world losing Tony.

There can never be a reason for this.

And yet… didn’t we know something was coming? I knew it, I could feel it in the air for weeks before this happened. Tony knew, that something bad was coming. My mother rang me that very morning, the morning this happened, to warn me that something was happening, something was going to happen.

A palpable tension in the air. Like the feeling of electricity bristling through oxygen before a thunderstorm.

My friend, Emma. She and I were the closest of friends in high school, and we became very, very close again in the weeks before this happened. And she kept saying to me….

“The moons are aligning… can you feel it?”

And dammit, I could.

(And does it feel like it’s not over yet, like it’s still going, as if this cycle is not yet finished? As if there is more to come…? Yes…. I think it does.)

So what it any surprise, really, that Emma’s father was a nurse in the ICU, while Tony was a patient? Or that Emma’s first kiss, back in primary school, turned out to be with my neighbour? The same one that cut Tony down and resuscitated him?

The same neighbour who shouldn’t have even been home that day, at that time. None of my neighbours should have been. The lovely woman who took myself and my children into her backyard, and sheltered us with lemonade and chatter about the Wiggles, she has worked the same shift for years. The day this happened was the first time, ever, that she has accidentally swiped off, and come home, an hour early.

And the ring, in the toaster….. a ring I bought Tony for his birthday, a year ago, that he lost after just three months of wearing. And never told me that he lost it, but confessed all to my brother. And my brother was right there, in the my kitchen, just after Tony died, when that ring fell out of the bottom of our toaster. The same toaster I had used every day- and cleaned at least sporadically- for nine months, without ever noticing a ring in there… how does a ring get in a toaster? I’m guessing it fell there, from the top of the microwave.

But how it stayed there undiscovered for so long is anyone’s guess.

There’s more, there’s always more, when I try and fold my head over the concept of there being some kind of higher purpose for this…. I worked in a hospital for years. Maybe so the tubes, the beeps, the smell,… it didn’t daunt me, when I needed every ounce of my sanity. I worked as a clown for years. Maybe that gave the strength to Pretend, to keep Pretending, that everything was just fine for my babies. I’m still Pretending now.

And then there’s the social work, the years of studying mental health. Having had so much experience with it myself… I’ve had people suggest maybe that’s why I was able to forgive him, understand it, etcetera… but that feels cruel too.

Surely, if my understanding of mental health was worth anything here, it would have been to save him, not just to be able to forgive him. He supported me, through my own near-psychosis, was there every step of the way…

Why couldn’t I do that for him?

I tried, I tell myself that, I tried.

But maybe not hard enough. Maybe it was the fact that he knew I struggled with anxiety in the first place, that made it more difficult for him to talk.

A reason for everything.

They don’t always have to be good ones.


I’m officially running away from the world for a week in four hours… I may blog, I may not. But I will certainly be back.

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael March 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm

There's always a reason.

Just sometimes a really shitty one.



Lívia March 4, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Maybe him killing himself wasn't whats meant to be, bad things can happen for no reason. but all the things that made it easier for you to handle it, those things you listed, those happened for a reason, those were some fate/god makings, to help you deal with something so horrible.

go and be for a while, figure out whats gonna be for now on. just be. just feel. and hopefully this will get easier.

love, livia


Dagmar March 4, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Just found out via Twitter about your story and am catching up… I'm so, so, sorry, Lori. A lot of people are thinking of you and your children, I hope that thought helps a little bit. There isn't much else I can do to comfort you, wish I could… It's just not fair.

Dagmar's momsense


Maxabella March 3, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I don't believe that. I don't believe that everything happens for a reason. A lot of shit just happens because it happens. I'm glad you're getting away for a bit, Lori. Be kind to yourself. x


Bella March 3, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Hugs from Cali


Becky March 3, 2011 at 8:13 am

I hope you find some peace during your time away from the world. Take care of you. xoxo


Donna @ Nappydaze March 3, 2011 at 7:12 am

Another post that just gives me goosebumps Lori… I think the world is a very fluid place and there are powers at play we can never control.

All I can think of is the blog you posted not long before this tragedy that said "There must be a purpose for suffering. For no other reason that I cannot stand it, if there were not" Now I know hindsight is a brilliant thing, but perhaps you were meant to type these words just before your world fell apart, in order to know you can dig deep to that place of comfort and strength.

And I pray you keep pouring your words out into posts as we all need to live and learn through you – you have a best seller within and we'd all back you on that front!

Much love to you x


Jodie at Mummy Mayhem March 2, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I'm a big believer in that everything happens for a reason too, hon. Good, bad & ugly.

Enjoy your trip to my hometown. Enjoy the sunsets. They are awesome. As are you. xxx


River March 2, 2011 at 8:45 pm

It seems there's a bigger destiny for you to fulfill.
Enjoy your time away, get lots of sleep, as little stress as possible.


Dorothy March 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I hope your time away helps, I hope you'll be able to not think just for a while. To just be. Take care of yourself.


Lotus March 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm

You've given me goosebumps Lori. I would like to think things happen for a reason. But to be honest, when bad shit goes down (like your Tony, or say my Grandfathers cancer) I find it very hard to find any good/lifes lessons or something.
Best wishes Lori, just keep going :)


Bec @ Bad Mummy March 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I don't believe everything happens for a reason. Maybe I've seen too much or maybe I'm just jaded. I believe that it's our humanity that makes us need to make sense out of the heavy, hard stuff otherwise it's just too much to bear. We can either go down with the weight of it or we can FIND something good out of it.

I'm not meaning to compare situations, this is how I feel since Erin was born. The reason I sit and listen to other mum's heartbreaking stories is because, if I can give them comfort in some small way what they're going through then it means all the pain I felt and EVERYTHING Erin went through wasn't for nothing. It's made me a better person. That's how I make the worst thing that's ever happened to me into something good. It doesn't make that experience any better though.

Lots of love Lori.


Brenna March 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I don't believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes things are just shitty. But I think my opinion is in the minority.

Best wishes to you. Hope "away" is good.


lifeofadoctorswife March 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm

This is beautiful. You are beautiful.

The world is such an intricate tapestry… And sometimes, sometimes, if we're looking very closely, we can see the delicate threads connecting us to one another.

I hope your break is restful and restorative. I, for one, will be here to read when you get back.


Anonymous March 2, 2011 at 11:08 am

I have to say Lori, I dont know you from a bar of soap but I think about you all the time, you are always on my mind, I pray for you and your children everyday. My heart bleeds for the pain you went through and still continue going through.
I do believe things happen for a reason. There is nothing you could have done to stop this from happening. Maybe, just maybe this happened so you could help others, prevent the same happening to other men or to help other women who have been through horrific things like you.
Right now you have to live 1 minute at a time but I'm sure there is a HUGE future waiting for you.


Watershedd March 2, 2011 at 11:07 am

I will never know the truth depth or extent of interconnection between people, places, events. I look at my GOFA's life and I am convinced that for him at least, nothing, absolutely nothing, is coincidence. It's not all sweet serendipity and it's not simply coincidence; there is simply too much for that. But I am not sure I'll ever understand the 'reasons' for some things … even the reason for me in his life. Safe travels, peaceful dreams on your journey.


bigwords is… March 2, 2011 at 10:32 am

Sometimes running is exactly what's needed for your soul. xx


Toni March 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I think we need reasons for things happening, to give ourselves a little comfort. After my son died, I wanted desperately to know that there was some good reason for it, that he didn't live and die for nothing.

I look at the way Tony died, and there doesn't seem to be much reason in it.
I used to believe that everyone lived the exact length of time they were pre-destined for, but after Tonys' death, I don't know what to think anymore. How could that possibly have been 'meant to be'?

I DO, however, believe, with all my heart, that you were sent help, in the Before, and on that day. Why that help didn't mean the rope snapped immediately, or Tony realised what he was doing in time, or a thousand other things — well, I just don't know.

I really hope your break gives you some of the peace you need right now.


Cassondra March 2, 2011 at 4:17 am

I used to think there was a reason for everything. I'm not sure I do anymore, but I've seen all sorts of ways that things that happened were useful in preparing me for things to come, sometimes aweful things. Maybe not as aweful as what you're experiencing, but aweful in different ways, like the miscarriage I'm going through now. It doesn't compare to losing a husband, and I don't see any reason for it. I don't know if there is a reason for it. I'm sure there's a reason for some things though, even aweful things, and I usually don't understand the reason at the time. I'm comming to accept that I'll never understand the reasons for some things, and others I may only understand years down the road when I run into something else or someone else that is better for the experience. And if I never know the reason, or if there isn't a reason, I'm learning to see that as ok. I don't have to understand everything.

Praying for you and wishing you healing in your own time.


Anonymous March 2, 2011 at 3:30 am

I hope you find some inner peace while away.

Ann Anon


Hear Mum Roar March 2, 2011 at 12:39 am

I think sometimes the bigger picture type reasons don't show themselves until much later, like when we're not looking for the reason anymore. At least, that's how it seems to work with me. I hope you have a great trip


Martin March 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Its chaos theory at work.

Godspeed in your travels away from the world. You deserve the break.


Rebecca March 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm

May your trip give you some peace.


Andrea March 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm

….have a good run-away. make sure you get plenty of fresh air. being outside is good for the soul! hug. x


deardarl March 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm

If you find a reason for the insanity of early widowhood, please tell me…..


lori March 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm

What you're saying reminds me of the movie set in India (I think) where this guy wins a game show by answering all of the questions correctly and the questions were so far out that the game show producers thought he had cheated because he couldn't possibly have answered them all right.
But it turned out that odd little circumstances happened to him in his life and each thing taught him something and each of those somethings was an answer to the game show questions.
Sorry, I can't remember the name of the movie, but it was very good.
I don't think everything happens for a reason, because there can be no good reason for what happened to Tony and to your family. But I think maybe once things set in motion and it was clear the inevitible was about to happen, maybe God, or the universe, or what higher power you believe in, moved those around you to be there to help you when you needed it.
I hope your week away is soothing, I hope it helps you and you find some peace.
Love to you.


thepixiechick March 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Ah Lori… as ever the truth in your words cuts like a knife. Right now there are many people in the world wondering if terrible things happen for a reason. Believing the world to be a much crueller, harsher, lonelier place than they ever imagined. And sadly I think the world can be cruel, and uncaring, and violent. And as far as its reasons, I wonder if we will ever know.
It does seem so strange, for the stars to align themselves this way, for constellations to form around this tragic event, tides and forces so strong that you could feel them even before you could have any idea what they were circling around. For your beautiful neighbours to miraculously be home, so you weren’t left alone, screaming in terror, with no one to help you. For you to know what to expect within an ICU, for you to be an expert at painting a happy face over a mask of tragedy. Maybe the reason for these events was simply so that the demon which took Tony from you and your children would not take you as well.
I am not sure that everything does happen for a reason. Maybe life has its own reasons and we don’t always get to know what they are. And maybe life can be cruel, and violent, and senseless and unreasonable, and we have to pick ourselves up and try to cobble together our own reasons from the broken pieces. It is the work of a lifetime, not something that happens overnight. Sometimes, with something like this, I think the only reasons will be the ones you make or find yourself. That will take years, decades. Maybe one day when you’re sitting on the porch, sipping a gin and tonic, and watching the grandchildren playing in the garden, maybe then you will have some reasons, or maybe just an awareness of what happened as a result of this earthquake in your life.
Enjoy your adventure lovely girl, fly safe. And while you’re up there, look down on the clouds, and savour that sensation of being above the earth, neither here nor there, able to see from one horizon to the other.
Love always xoxoxo


Kel March 1, 2011 at 11:18 am

Thinking of you – hope your time away give you space to breathe


Marianna Annadanna March 1, 2011 at 11:15 am

Love this. I agree that there must always be a reason – or a lesson – even if it isn't a good one. Not a silver lining (not a chance), but a connection, a link, from one thing to another. And I love when that special freaky stuff happens. Those little coincidences that can't possibly just be coincidences.

I recently read your December post on religion/beliefs. Loved it. I hope you can still find some of the sentiments you posted then, Before.

Sending love and strength, and wishing you a lovely trip,


Miss Pink March 1, 2011 at 10:55 am

Oh the little things how they scare me. And always in hidsight you notice things lining up and weird coincidences and it's just FREAKY. But i hope they bring you some comfort, some support.


Being Me March 1, 2011 at 10:00 am

Having lived through years' worth of loss of life now, I can very deeply identify with what you're saying here. I felt a fool, as if the very universe I'd trusted in to "have a damn good reason" all the time had laughed in my foolish face and made a complete dick of me. Using my almost-coulda-been children (and my very special girl) to do it. I didn't think it could get any more cruel. And I definitely didn't want to say "there was a reason" when it felt like, this time, there was absolutely no way there could be ANY reason for this much trauma.

But…… (and you surely had to know there was a 'but', if you know me even a little bit!)….. perhaps as things clear a little for you, and you get through all these things you are so masterfully stepping through and sorting out and voicing (SO good) right now, you will see what an incredible gift and ability has been placed in your hands. I KNOW it is bitterly cold comfort right now. And it might take a few years, even, for acceptance or the *thing* you have been bestowed with to be fully realised. But it's there. And so is your choice along the way of how much or little you are going to allow yourself to cope with at any given point.

I am in awe of your task. And of you, Lori. I hope your time away is everything nurturing and filling-up that it can be for you. xxxx


Langdowns March 1, 2011 at 8:12 am

Thinking of you


Melissa March 1, 2011 at 8:12 am

I remember feeling the same way when I had my miscarriages. I still cannot come up with a "reason" why my children died, though I tried and tried. I remember feeling the same loss of innocence – like the world suddenly seemed cold and scary instead of understandable and safe. I hope you find some understanding that helps you make sense of this as you move forward.
Have a good trip away.


Amy xxoo March 1, 2011 at 7:47 am

I'm not sure that everything happens for a reason but, if it does, those reasons may not be clear for years after the event. Maybe, down the track, you get to choose your own reason…find your own lesson in it, if there is one.
I cant tell you what it is, or even if its a good one… i can just tell you just keep pushing on, and you might find it in the end…


Fiona March 1, 2011 at 7:42 am

I hope the time away is good for you, good for your mind and you can come back stronger.


Lucy March 1, 2011 at 7:08 am

Escape. Somewhere else, where it may be easier to breath for a little while. xx


Danielle Rose March 1, 2011 at 5:33 am

I keep doing the same thing–trying to find a bit of reason or interpret a bit of warning as to why my sister died in a car accident three weeks ago. I can't find a reason, don't think I ever will. But I do seem to find ways that she was preparing us for her being gone. I'm not sure if that makes it better or more horrifying. I've been reading your blog for a while now but have never commented. At first, I couldn't understand how you're surviving through the grief, but then, when Alex died I kept reading as a lifeline for me–what happens next? Does this get better?

You and your two beautiful children are in my thoughts and prayers.


Karen March 1, 2011 at 4:37 am

I think a lot of us are "tuned in" to that kind of intuition… Unless we have a premonition, or a vision, how on earth do we know what is coming in order to prevent it from happening? And, do we even pay attention to those visions, brushing them off as we (or perhaps I) tend to do?!

Maybe they're written in stone, immutable and we cannot prevent them from taking place no matter what.

Wherever it is you're off to, may you find some peace and healing. xx


In Real Life March 1, 2011 at 4:04 am

*HUGS* Thinking of you.


Claire March 1, 2011 at 3:56 am

Thinking of you and praying for you as ever, sweetheart.



Jen D March 1, 2011 at 3:51 am

I hope your trip brings you some relief. Still thinking of you every day.


alltheshinythings March 1, 2011 at 3:36 am

It's funny, I've been thinking about why things happen and how they always have a reason and considering your… um… situation. I think when you look at it as only being one life, this one and we're done, it's impossible to explain. But if you consider reincarnation, past lives and that they all work together, it becomes easier to explain. Not easier to deal with, just to explain.

Have a rejuvenating time away. I hope you can regain your center and find little bits of happiness while you're gone.


Kimberly March 1, 2011 at 3:19 am

Here's to your time away being exactly what you need right now. much love.


Glen March 1, 2011 at 2:43 am

There was no way you could guess exactly what was to come. go do what you need to do


bloodsigns March 1, 2011 at 2:21 am

I believe the world holds those coincidences, those little transmissions of human connection — and that there's some rhythm to it.

You're a brilliant writer Lori. That's a true gift — not everyone can communicate as you can — what you've shared here — it resonates.

I hope your time away offers some respite, if only for a few moments.



Mary March 1, 2011 at 8:08 am

May you see things while you are away that soothe you ,if only for a short time.

Although for a long time would be better.


jacqui March 1, 2011 at 6:39 am

I am so glad you're escaping for awhile. I truly hope you find some moments of peace while you are away!


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