Karma and Luck

Karma is something I used to believe in.

“What goes around, comes around,” right?

Karma is supposed to mean that bad things happen to people because they have done bad things. Getting their just desserts, if you like.

This concept is something I have struggled with since Hugo was born, and even more since he died. What happened to me was so rare. Our baby dying was unthinkable. Surely it must have been because I am a bad person?

Such thoughts have plagued me, as well as guilt. For a long time, I thought it was my fault.

I tormented myself, punished myself.

Seeing the group of mums and prams at the café in the local park this morning gave me a heavy heart. When I was pregnant, I was looking forward to those groups. Am I unable to join them because I am a bad person?

Of course not.

I threw myself in to writing, and Hugo’s Legacy. A way of proving to myself that I deserved to still be here. A means of avoiding thinking the darkest thoughts.

I have had to tell myself that my blog traffic does not in any way correlate to my worth as a person.

I have had to remind myself that while Hugo’s Legacy is a reflection of my love for Hugo, what it achieves, or how quickly does not correspond to how much I love him. Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that.

I know, rationally, that what happened is not my fault. HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia are entirely arbitrary. It is bad luck that it happened to me. It is especially bad luck that it happened to me so early in my pregnancy.

‘Luck’ – there is a fanciful term. Chance. The roll of a dice that meant my chemical pathology reacted with the workings of the placenta that meant my pregnancy nearly killed me, and it killed my baby boy.

What happened is not a sign that I needed to be knocked down so I could come back stronger, or any similar well-intentioned quote about grief.

I did not need this to happen. I did not deserve it. Nor did Martin, or Hugo.

I am a good person, loving, compassionate, generous, and kind.

What happened is nothing to do with karma.

There are times when life doesn’t work out the way you want to. Sometimes, with tragic consequences. We are not all dealt an equal hand. Life is not fair.

That doesn’t mean I accept it, or feel sanguine about it. It sucks, I hate it, I rage at it.

But I have to find a way to live with it. My bad luck.

A friend posted this on Facebook this morning. A quote that spoke to me:

Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

(Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be  and Embrace Who You Are).

I am brave, and worthy of love and belonging. I will try to remember that. I will continue to be a good person, not from fear of karma, but because it is the right thing to do.

What goes around doesn’t always come around.


15 thoughts on “Karma and Luck

  1. mummyshambles says:

    Bad things do indeed happen to good people. It’s something I think about a lot but have come to the conclusion that there’s no reason for it, it’s just part of life and life can be very unfair.
    You’re a good person. Leigh.
    Sending you much love. X


  2. Sarah says:

    Sometimes good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. I always view events and experiences an things that happen as lessons, I try ask myself “what am I meant to be learning from this?”

    Sending you hugs and strength always x


    • Leigh Kendall says:

      You’re right about good things happening to bad people, and bad things happening to good people. It’s great you ask yourself what you can learn from bad experiences. I don’t think I can apply that to me for this situation though xx


  3. Tara says:

    I used to believe this, too. Ever since we had a talk in high school which included a simple idea of karma I believed if I lived a “good” life then good things would happen. Of course, life (and indeed the explanation of karma) is not that simple. I used to spend sleepless nights adding up all the things I had ever done that were remotely “bad” to work not just why I lost Oscar but also the way I lost him. It took a long time to believe that I wasnt a bad person and I wasn’t being punished. I also did more research into the idea of karma and I think that helped a bit too.


  4. Tim says:

    “What goes around comes around” is one of those well-meaning platitudes that we use to convince ourselves that luck evens out over time and that life is fair.

    But life isn’t fair. It is cosmically unfair sometimes. It’s better to rely on another saying that has a bit more than a ring of truth about it: karma’s a bitch.

    Luck is not an equal opportunities employer – sometimes bad things happen to good people, and there’s no amount of well-meaning words that will ever change it. I’ve never had any doubt, Leigh, that you fall into the category of ‘good people’. And I really do hope that what goes around really does come around for you eventually. It hasn’t yet, but I hope it will.


  5. kaitlynva says:

    I am so very sorry that you, Hugo and Martin were all dealt such an unfair stroke of luck. I agree that karma had nothing to do with it at all. My own sense of the workings of the world have been similarly shattered – beyond karma, weren’t we all taught that “you reap what you sow”, “just work hard enough and good things will come to you”, etc? Discovering that whole framework is just a bunch of stories told by lucky people (often in order to give themselves credit for their own good luck)… Craziness. Sending love.


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