Friday, August 14, 2009
Walking With You - Wounding Words, Healing Words
Kelly at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace is hosting Walking With You and this week, she suggested talking about the things other people said. (Last week was sibling grief and I'm totally annoyed with myself that I missed it).
People say hurtful things. Not intentionally (usually) but because they just don't know what to say. The hardest one for me (and I"m still working on letting go and forgiving) was when someone compared our losing Seth at 6 1/2 months of age to be less painful than someone losing an older child (and in this case, the other child was 18 months old).. (Clarification, this was NOT the other bereaved parents but a third party). I was crushed. From the day we found out we were HAVING him, Seth was no less a member of our family than any of his older siblings. THAT was the motivating factor in all the decisions we made for Seth's care. (If we had taken our then 2 year old to the doctor and they said some thing's wrong with her heart, she needs 3 open heart surgeries; we would have unquestioningly got her the best care possible. We were going to do the same for Seth from the beginning!) Unfortunately, this wasn't the only example of that. People often implied that it must have been "easier" to lose Seth than one of our "big kids". I find that offensive.
I KNOW that people just don't know what to say. I know they struggle for things that are comforting and not offensive. I get that. I'm pretty sure I've done that. I was blessed to have people come alongside Leland and I who had walked this path. A good friend who knew that just sitting with me on Leland's first night back at work was enough. And I had good friends who were aware of their shortcomings and inadequacy to offer comfort. A couple of people quite simply said "I don't know what to say so I'm not saying anything, but know that I love you." I was very grateful for that. I think it takes a lot of courage to admit that you don't know how to help someone you care about.
I struggle as much though, not with what OTHER people say, but what I say. I don't know how to share how I feel. That some days I still hurt so much I can hardly breathe. That yes, we've HAD a fun summer.. and I still miss Seth every single moment; even if I don't look like I do because of all the fun I'm trying to make sure my "big kids" have. I don't have an answer for that. In some cases, I do believe that it helps the best for me to be honest. And in other times, I just want to will myself to feel better. I occasionally still think that I can "fake it until I make it."
Mostly though, I am grateful for the people who quite simply let me know they are keeping our family in their prayers. I know that the fact that we find any joy at all is because we have hope in the Lord and seeing Seth again. I am blessed to have people in our lives willing to help carry us through the dark times!