Fox Emm

Everything Happens for a Reason


“Everything happens for a reason.” The words ricochet around your head each time you share your mother’s diagnosis.


“God has a plan.” Comes in at a close second for most repeated lines you’ll hear in the coming months. You believe both sets of words because you’re young and impressionable and because you went to church every Sunday and Thursday before she got sick. As her fingers turn into more skeletal claws and her eyes sink deep into her skull, you can’t help but feel skeptical.


“She is a godly woman; she will be healed.” The reassurance from the pastor makes you feel better, but the effect is dampened. A few hours prior the doctor had said the cancer was spreading. You’re devout and naïve, so the words of the preacher resonate better than those of the balding man in a lab coat. After all, you’ve seen one twice a week for the last twelve years. The other, you’ve only met a handful of times in a sterile hospital room.


“She’s in a better place,” they say. “She’s not in pain, anymore.” No, she’s not in pain anymore, but you are. Your father is traveling for work constantly, and couldn’t even make the funeral. You know you’ll be alone for a very long time, now.


“See? God has healed her, he took her home.” The pastor speaks with conviction, but he can’t meet your welling eyes when he does.


“Everything happens for a reason,” the words come again from a well-meaning stranger before she’s even in the ground.


As the words are spoken, the part of you that ever believed them dies.


Fox Emm is a writer and editor for hire living in rural Virginia. She can be found blogging, writing, and freelancing on,,, & In case you thought she doesn’t have enough to do, she is also the head of Spooky Words Press, an independent horror imprint, and tends to create horror fiction whenever she’s left alone. Her hobbies include critical pop culture analysis and questioning societal norms.

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