I'm writing this post for anyone who has ever lost someone to death. Whether it be your mother, father, child, best friend, cousin, aunt, etc., if you've lost someone this post is for you.
Last week a 2-year old passed due to the heinous actions of a monster. I won't mention the little boys name out of respect of his biological celebrity father who requested privacy. But I'm sure you know he played in a game Sunday much to the chagrin of spectators.
It was baffling to be logged into social media the day story broke and see the number of ignorant people comment on his decision to play. "If that was my child..." seriously you fixed your mouth to say this. First, this isn't your child. Second, people love to assume how they'd react when they have no knowledge of the exact feelings. Third, shut the hell up. Lastly, even if you've mourned the loss of a child, everyone copes differently, so shut the hell up.
This event brought up issues I had with people who felt the need to comment on the way I mourned my mother. I had comments ranging from those who didn't get how I kept going, to those who told me they couldn't imagine going through the same thing. As if I could have imagined anything like her passing happening to me. I'm not sure what response they were/are expecting from me, but most times I just remain silent and give an awkward grin.
I had a number of people tell me, "I don't know how you got through it" as a way to provide comfort. That shit is not comforting because all I did was pray. I pray everyday and try and live a "normal" life in a situation that is not "normal". I have not gotten through anything. Everyday is a struggle. With some days better than others. But let's be clear here: the saying "time heals all wounds" is complete and utter bullshit. I feel like I'm always mourning my mother and this moment is a perfect example.
Telling someone who is going through something what you would and could not be able to handle is the most insensitive gibberish. "I don't know what I would do without my mother." Do you know how hard it is not to backhand someone who says shit like this to me? How someone fixes their mouth to reference themselves when others are mourning is beyond me. For a long time I just wanted to be alone. I didn't want to talk about it because I would hear dumb ass comments like these on a regular. These days, I am a much more open book. With so many chapters to share and one of those chapter include calling out people on their insensitivity. I talk openly about reactions that annoy me because I don't want these idiotic ass comments made to other people. Please stop this nonsense! Do not judge what you do not understand.
If you are blessed to have both parents, or one parent, or a sister, or a child, or a best friend who happens to be a dog, cherish them. If you are looking for a way to comfort someone who is going through something, try empathy. Empathy is one of those tricky skills that can be readily executed but requires self awareness. Replacing "I know how you're feeling" with "I can empathize with how you're feeling" can go a long way. The latter recognizes that you do not in fact know what another person is going through but that you want to provide comfort. The former says strips the mourning of their unique feelings and emotions and imposes the self.
One last imparting piece of advice, realize that sometimes mourning never ends. Mourning can be a lifetime process. So watch your words. Chose them wisely. You never know who you'll inadvertently alienate by saying the first thing that comes to mind.
Note: This post is all over the place, I know. I had lot's to say but I'm at work so gotta go.