I’m no geologist, but from what I understand, earthquakes are nearly always “about to happen”. Fault lines guarantee it. Pressure is building underneath the surface of the earth and when it reaches a level that can no longer be contained, it spews.
Can I just let you in on a secret?
Bereaved parents are full of fault lines.
Many of us are nearly ready to blow almost every single minute, yet hold it in and hold it together. If you could put a meter to our temple and measure how close we are to a come apart, you would be amazed that it happens so rarely!
And this is why we sometimes say, “no” to an invitation. It’s why we stay home from church or baby showers or weddings. Not because we are anti-social, but because social situations present unique challenges to our desire to keep it together.
We don’t want to become the center of attention when the center of attention should be the mom-to-be or the wedding couple or the birthday boy.
It may be months or years or decades since our child ran ahead to heaven. And you may think that’s enough time to “get over” or “get past” or “learn to live with” his or her absence. In some ways it IS. Most of us have a “game face” we plaster on to make it through ordinary days and even some extraordinarily difficult ones.
But underneath the veneer of “everything’s OK” there are the fault lines and when extra pressure is applied, we just know we might blow.
Many times I want to be there, really I do. If I choose not to be, know that it’s because I am trying to be thoughtful, not ugly. I stay home out of love, not disrespect.
So please extend grace.
Give me the benefit of the doubt.
Let me bow out gracefully when I know in advance my heart won’t be able to hold on.
It’s best for both of us, really. ❤