You may be asking yourself what these two things have to do with each other. On their faces, nothing. But on the inside, everything. The loss of a child, or any loved one for that matter, comes along with a bunch of emotions. A bunch. Some of which won't even be experienced for weeks, months and even years. Death may occur in one moment during one day of our lives but the repercussions are felt for the rest of that lifetime. A lifetime which continues without our loved one.
This is where the bullying comes in. Emotional bullying. It is not the ugly kind of bullying which has recently captured national attention. It is quiet and even often well-intended. It can be perpetrated by strangers, family and friends alike. The bullying us into getting over our loss, moving on. Sometimes it's bullying to swallow our emotions like a burned casserole with a smile on our faces. It is cruel, painful and so often not even realized by the perpetrators.
So this month in particular I want everyone to think about the connection between these two profound awarenesses that occur in the month of October. To remember that we are more than others think about us and that at the end of the day we are the ones who live with our own regrets. With that said, I'm going to put a cautionary statement out there. Spring of 2011 I was still in the darkness left after Eli's death and struggled against it each and every day. Sadness was a constant companion despite the smiles and laughter wafting frequently through my own home. My husband called me out, he acknowledged my grief but also told me in no uncertain terms the effects he was seeing my grief having on our three wonderful children and himself. It was a bitter pill to swallow. On one hand I thought, "My baby just died, cut me some slack, of COURSE I'm sad." On the other I thought, "My goodness, I didn't know." I was alive for them and being dead for him was doing none of us any good. What I did is chronicled here. My husband bullied me back to life and helped me to see what the darkness had hidden from me.
I think sometimes it's important to listen to the words and try to see the reality within and around them. It is important to grieve and to own that grieve. It is also important not to lose our hearts to our grief.