January 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Posted in after death?, Grief, life lessons, normal? | 5 Comments
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Maybe (Taoist story)

There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied. The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it 3 other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man. The next day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer. The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.

After Sawyer died, one of Evan’s friends came over to see us.  Those days were such a blur that I do not remember his exact words but I will try to give you the basic gist.  He explained that sometimes things happen and we do not see or understand why at the time.  We may never understand why but the fact that Sawyer died could influence someone or something in the future. 

I, of course, responded that I will never understand why. 

He went on to say that some events need to be looked at in different ways.

I again responded that I have examined and reexamined every angle of Sawyer’s death and could not find anything except for earth shattering pain, emptiness and never ending darkness.

However, he continued to make his point in a way that I could actually accept.   He gave the example that when the twins grow up that their experience of Sawyer dying could impact them beyond my initial thoughts of how they would grow up without their baby brother.  They could be perhaps go on to discover a cure for whatever caused Sawyer’s death.  In that moment I grasped the fact that something good could possibly result from Sawyer dying.  Maybe, just maybe.


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  1. Maybe — I never realized how beautiful that word can be. Great post.

  2. I just read this Taoist story earlier this week. Love it! Maybe. Thanks for reinforcing it. I agree with Daph… great post.

  3. What an amazing concept, yet so hard to comprehend in the depths of grief. You are an amazing woman. No maybe in that. Love to you.

  4. Thanks for sharing this story. And yes, there is always a different way of looking at things–sometimes it’s just not easy to “see” that in the time of grief or afterwards.

  5. This just breaks my heart… “earth shattering pain, emptiness and never ending darkness.” XO

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