Wednesday, March 22, 2006

'Tis better to say something stupid than nothing ...

That's one thing I've learned though this. Remember that whole "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything"? B.S., at least in this situation.

I know that in the past, I've been guilty of worrying that I was going to say something dumbass to someone going through a rough time.

But you know what? Silence hurts far more than anything stupid you can say.

I've been lucky. All the people that I'm really close to have been next to me since the second we were called to go to the ER with Little Warrior. I am blessed; I am rich in my friends.

But I will admit, there have been a few that have surprised me -- friends who I would have predicted would at least be dropping an email. Total silence.

I'm sure it's the whole "I wouldn't know what to say." But you can say that. In fact, the best thing I heard was when she was first diagnosed and my good friend MouseFace called and said, "I don't what to say except that this really sucks."

She summed up my feelings exactly.

1 comment:

cincymom said...

I agree that this really sucks and want you to know that it is good you said this- people need to hear it. Hope that it brings folks into contact that you want to hear from. We are not very good at being empathetic sometimes and then "avoid" situations just to avoid making a mistake and causing more pain (if you are not thinking about IT, then if I ask you how you are/how are things going, am I making it better or worse for you?). Not a good excuse, but human nature. My UU church had an excellent experienced Interim Minister (Betty Pingel) who taught a wonderful class on "What to say when someone is ill or grieving". A fantastic class where we could talk about all the stupid things folks had said to us in the past, and all the stupid things we had said to others, that made us feel bad and try to avoid the situation in the future. Then, she basically said what you said: It doesn't matter what you say; what is important is to show you care. It is ok to say "I don't know what to say. I'm thinking about you and praying for you. Can I drop by banana bread? Can I go to the grocery store for you? Is there a time you would like a visitor to stop by?" Small, inconsequential things.

In the class we also talked about the period of grieving; for some people it can last a long time, and anniversaries of sad events trigger memories (wedding anniversary date or birthday of deceased spouse). Again, she said that some folks just pretend that these things didn't happen to avoid causing pain. She said that people generally appreciate a call, a card, taking them out to dinner, asking how they are doing at this time of year- anything to show you care and that it is OK if the person wants to talk about the event/person. A good friend of mine who lost her grandma and dad within 2 weeks of each other said that the hardest thing for her was when she wanted to talk about them, or her grief, and the rest of the world thought she should be "over" it by then- but it took more time. So folks who would ask and listen were precious.

As you go through your tests and challenges this week with your baby, know that you have a lot of folks out here thinking about you and hoping for the best.

No one deserves this type of stress and trauma; and I hope that all the medical issues can be worked out positively for all of you. You sound like you are getting all the help for her that you can, and continuing to love her every moment.

Take care- Cincinnati mom