I know (really, I do!) that people MEAN well.
I understand the temptation to share cute little sayings like these in response to a bereaved parent’s Facebook post.
What runs through my mind, even five years later when I read this isn’t, “Oh my! Why didn’t I think of that? Why didn’t I just turn that frown upside down and CHOOSE to be happy instead of sad.”
Instead it’s, “If I could, don’t you think I WOULD?”
If I could just make a mental adjustment and wash away all my sorrow, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Often those who have been spared think that those who haven’t are holding grief too close, refusing to let it go. They think we are using it as an attention getting prop. They rest certain that if it were them, THEY would rise above, get over or overcome grief.
You will never know how thankful I am that YOU. DON’T. REALLY. KNOW.
So when you’re tempted to subtly correct me and (out of the goodness of your heart) try to steer me toward a “cure” for my grief, think about it. Think about how hollow these words might sound in the ear of a mother or father who will never, ever hear or see or touch their child again. Think about how ridiculous it would be to suggest that all it takes to “be happy” is to “choose” correctly.
Think about which one of your children you could live without.