Walk A Mile In My Shoes

I’ll be honest.

Before Dominic ran ahead to Heaven I could be awfully self-righteous.

I could not understand how some people (notice how I dehumanized them by lumping them together) couldn’t just act right, do right, pick themselves us by their bootstraps and get on with life.

Not anymore.

Now I am more apt to wonder, “What awful thing has happened to this person?” instead of “What is WRONG with them????” when I notice someone acting a bit out of character or not quite living up to their commitments or somehow missing the mark of societal expectations.

Take all this coronavirus craziness.

Some of us are being more cautious.

Some of us consider caution a sign of insecurity or fear or lack of faith.

None of us have enough information (really!) to make an informed decision.

ZOONO3 VIA GETTY IMAGES

Lack of testing, lack of research, lack of transparency and not enough time means we are all essentially guessing what is the most prudent and appropriate individual response to this threat. I’m choosing not to judge anyone’s choices even if they are different than my own.

I’ve felt judged many times in the past six years since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.

People who haven’t buried a child really don’t understand how it changes EVERYTHING. But that doesn’t stop them from offering an opinion or advice or making comments on social media that are clearly intended to correct or shame me.

Now that things are opening up on the back side of blanket stay-at-home orders I’m probably going to be judged again.

What people don’t know about me-what they can’t see and can’t know unless they ask-is I suffer from an autoimmune disease. The treatment impacts my ability to fight off infections. It lowers my white blood cell count. It makes me susceptible to things that other folks never have to worry about.

I had latent (non-contagious and asymptomatic) tuberculosis a couple years ago.

I’m not part of population that would normally be considered “at risk” and only found out about it because it’s protocol to test for TB before prescribing some of the more potent medicines used in treating rheumatoid arthritis. I still have no idea where I was exposed to it.

Eight months of antibiotics with unpleasant side effects later I was disease free.

Based on first person accounts of what it feels like to have Covid19 (not even considering the most dire outcomes) that was a cakewalk.

So I’m not standing in line to try my hand at surviving this new threat.

And I have other, very real, very painful, experiences which inform my choice to be more cautious. I know that regardless of odds, of treatment and of what a heart HOPES will happen, things don’t always go as planned or as predicted.

I know the horror death leaves in its wake. I know the toll trauma takes on a life left behind.

My family has already had to deal with more than I could have imagined and I will not purposely expose them to something else if I can help it.

So regardless of local, state or national guidelines, protocol or recommendations I will be mostly staying home.

Baby Girl Name: Prudence. Meaning: Foresight; Practical Judgment ...

It’s not lack of faith. It’s not fear. It’s prudence based on experience.

You can make a different choice and I will absolutely positively respect that.

Agreement is not a prerequisite for kindness.

Your shoes are not my shoes.

And that’s OK.

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.

6 thoughts on “Walk A Mile In My Shoes”

  1. Thank you so much for the words you write every day. On my hardest days I can read your post and know that there is some one else who knows exactly how I feel. Child loss is lonely and it helps just know I’m not alone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “It’s not lack of faith. It’s not fear. It’s prudence based on experience.” – This! I was explaining to my trauma therapist last week that I may be overly cautious with Covid because I have lost two people due to unforeseen separate tragedies in the last few years, my husband and my son. It’s just not worth the risk to take any chances. I live in a hotspot, btw. My biggest fear is losing someone else, including myself. I just don’t think we can take another tragedy. I really don’t care if people judge me or not – they have not walked a mile in my shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is a photograph from “Mental Health Awareness Life” which I think is really relevant but I can’t find how to share a photograph so I will give you the quote.
    “Maybe you think that someone doesn’t have a lot on their plate compared to you. But maybe their plate is smaller than yours and doesn’t have a lot of room to begin with. Or maybe their plate is paper and their flimsy paper plate cannot hold as much as your sturdy ceramic plate can. Or maybe their plate was broken and now being held together with glue.”
    We struggle with the circumstances we find ourselves in and find the courage, often to our own amazement, to endured far more than we ever expect. It has given us an insight that is not always understood.
    We do what is best for us and our families given our circumstances Melanie. Others will make their judgements and we can do nothing about it but you are right we can and should always be kind.
    Sending my love across the ocean. Stay safe ❤❤❤

    Like

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