I remember the first couple times I ventured out in public after Dominic left us and the flurry of activity surrounding his funeral was over.
I felt naked, afraid and oh, so vulnerable.
The tiniest misplaced word or random glance could undo me and I burst into tears.
And I remember the phone calls, cards, texts and Facebook messages from friends and family who truly wanted to encourage my heart but often chose the wrong words and pierced it instead.
I took offense. Often.
But about a month or so into this journey, as I explored the edges of my pain and had time to think about how utterly different and unknowable it was without experiencing it, I realized that all those barbs were completely unintentional.
No one was aiming to hurt me. They were walking in the dark and stepping on my toes because they couldn’t SEE, not because they desired to cause me pain.
I was just as clueless before it was ME who buried a child.
So I learned to extend grace-to look behind the words to the heart offering them.
Because they don’t know what they don’t know.
And I hope to God they never do.