Is It More Admirable to Pretend?


We say we want real.

But we really don’t.

We tune in by the millions to watch “reality TV” even though we know the drama is manufactured and the outcome decided months before.

We participate daily in quiet subterfuge when our coworker pretends her marriage isn’t falling apart even though we overhear her desperate phone calls trying to mend it.

We like to hear “Fine, thank you.” when we offer the polite greeting, “How are you?”.

What happens to the person who refuses to play along?  What about the one whose heart is so broken that she can’t begin to put on the false front that would make everyone else more comfortable around her?


What do you do when someone stops pretending everything is OK?

Often, people walk away.

Because we have absolutely no idea what to do with real. We have no words when “How are you?” is answered with “Awful.  My world is falling apart.”

We reward those who choose to go along with the script that makes us comfortable and isolate the ones that don’t.

But is that the world we really want to live in?  Do we want to walk with unsaid words between us, unreleased feelings bottled up and threatening to overflow?

It is really more admirable to pretend?


masks by shel silverstein

MASKS  by Shel Silverstein

She had blue skin
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through.
Then passed right by —
And never knew.


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.

5 thoughts on “Is It More Admirable to Pretend?”

  1. 21 months later, I pretend with others all the time because they don’t want to speak about it anymore nor do I want to burden them with my sadness. But I didn’t think I would have to pretend with my own family , but I guess I do. Just the other day I got a rah, rah speech…. ” You have a ‘choice’ to be happy or sad” “Do something to honor him, that will make you feel better” ” Plant a flower, plant a tree” “Get up in the morning and do yoga”. Like a cheerleading squad or a psychologist trying to put some backbone in me. They want to ‘fix’ me but they can’t. This is unfixable. Every suggestion is a double edged sword because everything has a memory attached. I have to tread carefully in order to stand up to the pain of it. Is it more admirable to pretend? Probably….. to help them, but it doesn’t help me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes! I have had the same cheerleader speeches tossed at me as well. And you are so very right-every single idea has a memory attached. If they only knew how many times a day we shove the pain down deep or keep the tears from falling, they would be overwhelmed. But they really don’t know. No one mourns like a mother, except perhaps the father. I am so very sorry. ❤


  2. This post and its thoughts remind me of a very powerful book, “Innocence” by Dean Koontz. I found him as an author while looking for new reading genre in the library. His book was on an end cap so I went and looked for his name in the other books. He was under Horror. I thought this was so odd. he is the farthest from Horror. Perhaps we as a society are so scared of what he says it is horror to our souls. I grabbed other books of his and pursued learning about him.
    The book “Innocence” was revolutionary in changing my life as “A Wrinkle in Time ” was when I was 11. That book gave me the thought that there was real love in families, just not mine. But it was there and I would find it. “Innocence” showed me also about the behaviors of people and what we will do to keep the status quo. A great great read. I think God directs us in ways to look at this, go over there and when we listen to that voice we find answers. And sometimes for me I just need the answer, not the why or how.

    Liked by 1 person

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