Life is Absolutely NOT Fair

Raising four kids as critical thinkers and encouraging debate led to many, many long discussions about thorny theological, social and family issues.

As my children aged, grew, had more exposure to different people, places and philosophies, the discussions grew more complex and wide-ranging.

It was no longer enough for them that a particular point of view was MY opinion-they began to demand facts, figures, examples, references  and consistent logic.

I remember a particularly good but also frustrating encounter with Dominic when he was about 12 or 13.  As a middle child (third of four) and middle son (second of three), something happened where he felt overlooked, underrepresented and left out or cheated.

So he challenged me regarding whether or not his treatment was “fair”.

I honestly don’t even remember what he wanted to do or wanted to be excused from doing, but I do remember he was passionate about what he believed were different standards applied to HIM versus his brothers and sister.

I spent well over an hour exploring the concept of “fairness”-pulling out my best mom arguments that if we want every single thing to be exactly even then it doesn’t serve anyone well because sometimes one family member needs more grace or freedom or material resources and on another day it may be someone else.

He would not budge.

He wanted every sort of pie in our home to be measured, cut and divided in perfect portions-precisely fair regardless of need.

pumpkin pie perfect slices

There was no way to convince him that while this might be good for him one day, it might be awful another day when HE was the one who needed a little extra whatever (money, grace, clothes, rest or freedom).

It ended with him deciding I was unfair and he was given the short end of the stick most, if not all, the time.

Every morning I lean over to add food to the cat’s bowl which rests precisely where he stood when he was arguing with me.  So I’ve thought about that conversation often in these years since he left us.

And while I was on the side of accepting that things/life/situations are inherently unfair when arguing with Dominic, I now find myself on the side of lamenting the very thing I was willing to accept then.

its not fair peanuts

Because one of the things I’m learning this side of burying my precious child is that there is no upper limit to the sorrow and pain I may have to carry in this life.  And it’s no use comparing my burden to that of another-begging God to consider the differing weights and to make adjustments to lighten my load because it is heavier than that of another.

I do not get a pass on daily stress and strain. 

I’m not guaranteed physical health. 

I am just as likely as anyone else to get the grumpy cashier, to drop a dish or lose my keys.

I cannot point to a single stretch of more than three days when one or more minor (often major) disruptions, problems or just stinky situations weren’t piled on top of missing my son.

I can sit and soak and sour in my feeling that this is “unfair”.  I can allow my heart to become bitter because “other people have it better, or easier or have more”.

But all that does is ruin MY day, hurt MY heart, stop me from living MY life.

Life is NOT fair.

thankful for what is given rather than what is withheld

Things are not doled out with measuring spoons so that each person on the planet gets the same amount of love, of opportunity, not even the same amount of food or freedom.

If they were, my burden might very well be greater instead of less.  

And if  I take a moment to consider the overall sweep of my life, then I have to admit that I am, in fact, blessed.

dom looking up with camera

I had my son for nearly 24 years and nothing can take away those sweet memories and the light and life I carry inside my heart because of that.  

So I will use my mom voice and remind myself that life isn’t fair,

but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.  

collect beautiful moments




Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

16 thoughts on “Life is Absolutely NOT Fair”

  1. Such a good reminder for me, this week especially. It is my son’s Angelversary in 2 days. He died by suicide from PTSD at 33 years. We work to have distractions this week, thinking of the good times can help. I appreciate your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Collect beautiful moments.”
    I am a cup half empty person by nature. This is a great reminder to me to remember the beautiful moments with my son Charlie. Thank you Melanie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Praying for you sweet mama! This life is really hard. I’m sorry we share the same experience but thankful for companionship on this journey. May the Lord meet you where you are and give your heart exactly what it needs for these next hard days. ❤️


  3. Good morning Melanie, your post today reminds me of a chapter in the book Don’t sweat the small stuff , life is not a score card. Amen to this

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No it isn’t fair but oh how wonderful the good bits are. I am a firm believer that without the bad bits how on earth would be appreciate the wonderful bits?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The contrast certainly helps our hearts cherish the good, doesn’t it? I agree that though my joy coexists with sorrow these days, it is deeper, stronger and more powerful than it was before my heart knew the depths of grief. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Melanie I’ve been reading your grief journey. I have been walking this road for 26 years. In 1992 my baby , Amelia, passed at 2 years old!
    I had 4 children. I would bargain with God not to do it to me again. Wham! My only son, Daniel , passed on his 26th birthday!
    Thanks for sharing your journey. It helps so much to speak with another berieved parent.!!!! Margee

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so very sorry for your multiplied pain and losses! My heart hurts for you. I’m thankful if the blog helps a little on this live none of us would choose. May the Lord continue to give you what you need for each new day and may He overwhelm your heart with His grace, love and mercy. ❤


  6. This is a very touching post. It takes a lot of courage and wisdom to see the good even when the experience of the unfairness is almost totally blocking our view on it.

    I don’t have children of my own and I cannot even come close to imagining what losing one must feel like. But I have experienced some hardship in my life and looking at it from insight I now suspect that it is precisely through the experience of unfairness that the wisdom eventually growths from. I feel you might have a similar sense, even though from a very different life course.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Yes, I have learned and continue to learn much in this journey. I refuse to waste this pain and hope to allow God to mold me into who He wants me to be-even though it is very hard to be still in the process. Loss comes in many forms. Child loss is only one of them. My heart goes out to anyone who has had to suffer and yet go on. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: