If you’ve joined me here for more than a minute you know I am a fierce advocate for bereaved parents in particular and all grievers in general.
But you’ve probably also noticed that, at least in my own life, I recognize how traumatic and/or difficult circumstances can make it hard to see past the hurt and the shattered world a broken heart inhabits. I can judge others harshly without meaning to.
A couple of recent incidents have reminded me how easy it is to interpret every offhand comment or heartfelt opinion as targeted at ME when, in fact, they are simply a reflection of that person’s experience in the world.
I can’t insist that others see the world through MY eyes if I’m not equally prepared to try to see it through THEIRS.
Look, I know how painful it is to scroll through social media posts and feel the darts land square in the center of my heart. Parents bemoaning their children leaving home (all the while I’m thinking, “yeah-but you can call, visit and still hug your child”); folks complaining about how hard it is to manage schedules and meals or trying to figure out family vacations with teens or young adults (“gee, I wish I had the privilege of including ALL my kids for holidays“); and then there are the “miraculous deliverance from a wreck” posts (I’m wondering why Dom wasn’t delivered).
But NONE of those folks are posting or commenting with me in mind. They are simply sharing their thoughts and feelings just like I share my own.
I’ve learned to just scroll on past.
It’s neither healthy nor helpful for me to type some long (or short!) snarky comment trying to “correct” them. I’m not entirely sure they need correcting.
Before it was ME that sent a child to Heaven I had No. Idea.
They don’t either.
So save your energy for the work grief requires. Save it for the family you’ve got left. Save it for a rainy day when tears fall as fast as drops from the sky.
You’re gonna need it.
4 thoughts on “Speaking From Experience…”
It’s about perspective isn’t it? You can be stood in the same room and experience seeing or hearing the same thing, Depending on the angle in which you are stood you see something slightly different and interpret what you hear slightly different given your experiences.
I lost sight of that when Luke died and was so shattered and broken I couldn’t see past it. I am much more aware of it now than ever before. However, sometimes it takes great effort.
Peace be with us all xxx
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I couldn’t agree more! It’s been 5 1/2 years since my Patrick went to heaven and like you, at first I thought that every comment about someone’s child was directed to remind me that mine was no longer here. This feeling lasted a very long time but in the past year or so I have come to the conclusion that “people don’t know what they don’t know” and quite honestly, I truly don’t want them to have to find out. 💙☘️💛⚾️
I understand. I’ll confess that even now (more than seven years into this journey) I still have that slightly rankled feeling well up in my breast. But, like you, I realize they REALLY don’t know. And yes! I don’t want them to. ❤
This is spot on. It took me a long time to understand this concept: you can’t know what you don’t know. Like you, I realized I had probably made posts that were upsetting to others (and I probably still do!). Bottom line, it’s all about grace. Thank you for sharing this.