Raise Your Vibration
This is a public letter to all the people who have offended someone I love in the past two weeks and three days.
Dear well-intending but highly offensive friends & family,
My best friend lost her child. Can any of us really comprehend that? She lost her child! No, she is not okay. This is not okay. It's not going to be okay. Time will not heal this wound. This is an open wound and it will always be an open wound. Part of my dear, beloved friend is gone with her child. That part of her will never be back, and that's okay. She and her daughter belong together. When her daughter left, the part of her that belonged to her daughter also left. She is not the same person anymore. She is not complete in the same way. Let's get the elephant out of the room -- IT'S NOT OKAY!!
Many of you have said many things. And, although you mean well, some of the things are offensive in a way you don't understand.
"She will be okay. It just takes time." Seriously? What is wrong with you? Why would it be okay that her child has passed away in two months or two years or two decades? Why would it be okay that her child did not get to experience life and that she was robbed of the opportunity to raise her daughter? It won't be okay in two years. In two years, she will be grieving that she isn't able to take her daughter trick or treating for the first time or hear her begin to put sentences together. In ten years, she will be remembering that she should be helping her daughter with her fifth grade project. In eighteen years, she will think about the college she should be driving her daughter to. It won't be okay in time.
"She will have another baby." And? Yeah, okay. She might. She might not. That's her business. Either way, nothing will bring back the daughter she just lost. What if the person you love most passes away? Will the birth of another person compensate for the loss of your loved ones life?
"God doesn't make mistakes. He knows what he's doing." While this is meant to be comforting, I think it has the opposite effect. You cannot and should not tell a mother that her child was not supposed to live. And who are you to make that decision and shove it down her throat during the worst time of her life? What would make you think that God wants all these other children to live and be loved by their parents, but not her daughter? This is actually a very insensitive comment to make. Stop saying it.
"God calls his best ones home." This comment is not nearly as offensive as some I have heard, but it feels a little like sweeping the death of her child under the rug. This is especially true when you're on the receiving end of the comment.
"Now she has a guardian angel." There's a lot to be said for the art of positive thinking and speaking. It's true -- she does have a guardian angel now. Still, it's a little bit like telling the guy who just lost both legs in a tragedy to be grateful he now has a wheelchair. She didn't want a guardian angel. She wanted to raise and love her child.
"Have faith and trust God. Don't be sad. This was for the best." I would like to think this one doesn't need an explanation. Whether or not she trusts God or has faith in God has nothing to do with her emotional state of sadness. And how dare anyone be so full of themselves that they feel like they have the authority to decide what is best for someone else? This comment is almost like the Christian's way of saying, "shut the fuck up, I don't want to hear it." If you don't want to hear about someone's sadness, don't contact them when they are sad. But, for the love of all things good, don't contact a sad person and scold them for being sad.
So what should you say? It doesn't matter because it isn't about you. Just be present. Be concerned. It isn't what you say, it's who you are. Your genuine and heartfelt concern will show.
Please try not to judge how she grieves. Don't judge how she feels. Maybe she wants to talk. Maybe she doesn't. Maybe she wants to eat. Maybe not. Maybe she wants to pray. Maybe she doesn't. Whatever she needs, only she knows. As her support group, we all owe it to her to allow her the space to decide what she needs and to put those things into action in her life.
She might want to walk around in her favorite sweatpants for two days straight, with the blinds closed, in the dark, with no contact with the outside world. Maybe she is rubbing her scar, the only proof that she has that her daughter existed, other than the beautiful urn with her ashes. Maybe she isn't talking to you because she doesn't care what you have to say right now. Maybe for the first time in her life, she is focused on herself and how she will take her next breath. Maybe it isn't about you today.
I am certainly not promoting depression. Obviously, if she (or anyone) was withdrawn for extremely long periods of time, there would be a need for some type of intervention. This isn't that time. She just lost her child.
It's okay to be sad. Sad is not bad, y'all. Sad is an emotion, just like happiness is an emotion. Our culture has taught us that being sad is not acceptable. We live in a society that says sad people have bad attitudes, have a victim mentality and lack faith. That's simply untrue. Sadness is part of life, just as joy is. She experienced the highest peak of joy she's ever known when she was with her daughter, and she dipped to the lowest dungeon of grief and despair she has ever known when she lost her daughter.
She will be in this dungeon for awhile. This is what she needs. She misses her child. She is grieving not only the loss of her daughter's company, but also the loss of all the memories they were supposed to create in the future. She is watching her partner grieve the loss of his daughter. A beautiful soul who represented unity and joy and who looked like a porcelain doll is gone forever. It is sad. It's very sad. And that is acceptable.
Being authentic is more important than being happy. Being present in the moment, mindful of your thoughts, your emotions and your actions is more healing than sweeping it under the rug and labeling it "God's Will." She is being present. She is allowing herself to feel the pain. I am proud of her, watching her as she walks through this fire.
She will eventually come out on the other side of the fire. And, when she does, this still will not be okay. She will be forever changed. That doesn't have to be a bad thing. Her life has been touched in a way she never could have imagined before. She will learn how to function again with the pain she will forever carry, although she will be different and probably feel incomplete. Different doesn't mean bad. Incomplete doesn't have to be negative. I bet she would rather feel incomplete, armed with the knowledge that her missing part is with her daughter in heaven than she would feel totally complete and have her baby live on in the afterlife without a piece of her mother. I asked her if it was better for her to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all. What do you think she said?
Co-Founder of Yoga Factory with my husband, Ronzell, I am a lover of life. I love the feeling of a calm mind with an active body. I hope to share any good information I come across with you through this blog so we can all enjoy healthy living. XO