Tag Archive | bitterness

Bitter much?

Sometimes it’s hard when someone complains about their “hard life” to me. But other times when someone complains – confides – I’m grateful that I’m being treated like a friend and not a fragile basket case. I didn’t realize until recently why I react inconsistently…

If you have not acknowledged the death of my son just shut up about your “hard life.” How’s that for brutal honesty? I’m not talking about people who didn’t even know me when my son took his life. I’m saying there are people who were part of my life that simply never acknowledged it. Recently I got an email from someone – who had never said a word about Drey – about what a hard time they’re having because they’re going through a divorce. Divorce sucks big time. And it is very painful. But honestly if you didn’t have 5 minutes to call, text (or god forbid you actually show up at the funeral!) then don’t reach out to me about your hard life. That probably sounds rough. Maybe I’m bitter. I don’t know. How bout if I’d at least get a “I never reached out when Drey died because I didn’t know what to say but I thought of you often” before the whining about your “hard life” starts?

Grief sucks. I truly get that it’s awkward to reach out to someone who’s facing the unimaginable. I am confident I said insensitive things to grieving people before 8.8.12. And in all fairness there may have been times I didn’t reach out at all. We say, “what could I possibly say that would be helpful?” And “they have others that are closer to them “handling” this situation so I don’t need to be there.” But let’s not kid ourselves – these justifications we tell ourselves are simply self-protection and have nothing to do with the bereaved parent who’s curled up in a ball in the corner of the kitchen sobbing. More realistically my pre-8.8.12 thoughts were, “What if the person cries the whole time I’m there? What if I don’t know when to leave? I just can’t see my happy go lucky friend in that emotional state. I don’t want to see them because I’ll feel completely helpless.”

I’m grateful for the comfort-level I now have with being with grieving people. It’s one blessing that’s come out of this wreckage. I am also grateful beyond words for all the support I received especially in those first several months. Including from a few people that hardly knew me – Jan, Deanna, Trish, WS folks! That made a huge impression on me! I treasure the ways God redeems this tragedy on this side of heaven.

And for those folks that have yet to acknowledge Drey’s death and choose to reach out now to share their “hard life” circumstances with me? Kiss my ass. (Can you see the light of Christ shining from me? Ugh… I’m a work in progress! Praise God for His mercy!).

The good, the bad, and the indifferent

Looks like The Tragedy was just a blip on your radar screen.
No card. No call. No contact. How long has it been?
Hey – remember me?
Is it easier to just push it out of your mind?
Lucky you.
See that picture of me smiling?
No – it doesn’t let you off the hook.
Nice try.
The others?
They’ve been a blessing. Even though they were on the peripheral.
God is so good in spite of you.
In spite of me…
What would I have done? Lived my happy little life.
What would I do now? Lean in – no fears.
But who knew before The Tragedy?
I’ve been schooled.
I think of you.
I wish you well. Truly.

You look so sad.

“You look so sad.”
Do you say that because you don’t think I should be sad anymore? Perhaps you’re judging my grief?
Do you say that because you want to let me know you notice, you care? And you just don’t know what else to say?
Yes, I’m sad. The emptiness that’s left where my baby’s ornery laughter used to be will be with me until I’m in heaven. And sometimes the emptiness is on the surface for others to see.
But don’t tell me, “you look so sad.” It just isn’t helpful. I fight every day against thoughts that say no one wants me around because it’s too hard to see me. It’s too heavy to be around me and be reminded of the great loss. To be forced to consider “how would I handle it if it were my child?” I see the looks on peoples faces. And I know who avoids me. I can’t make it ok for you. That’s not my job.
It is my job to fight for gratitude. And when the bad thoughts form in my mind it is my job to tell satan to f-off. It is my job to surround myself with family and friends that recognize I’m in the fight and encourage me.
It’s not your job to say the perfect thing. It isn’t your job to always get it right.
It is my job to learn to forebear.
It is my job to say, “That was hurtful. That was hard to hear.”
Can you handle it?
These things are my job because I want them to be. Not because I have no choice. I have a choice. I choose gratitude over bitterness.