I read this last night and greatly appreciated it:
I liked it so much, I shared it with several friends and sent it to the priest’s wife who has been especially heartless towards me the past year (saying such garbage such as “We did enough for you and you’re just not grateful,” on repeat like a broken record).
I think what I liked about it best was how raw and honest it was. I saw immediately that anyone who hasn’t gone through this would dismiss her blog post as bitter, self-centered, over-the-top. But this is what it really is. If at least part of it doesn’t resonate with you, you haven’t gone through it, so stop trying to rationalise that something horrible has happened.
It is not that we are not grateful for what we have, that we are not aware that we have blessings that we love very much. We are not so self-centered that we are just screaming “pity me!” all the time. We are genuinely aching. Getting out of bed is hard a lot of days. Taking a step forward is almost impossible. We pour our strength and energy into the basic things that those around us do every day and take for granted. If it looks hard, it’s probably because it is.
So stop telling us to “just be thankful,” or “just be happy,” or “just get over it.” It’s not as simple as those words that are flapping out of your mouths. Real life and its struggles takes effort. We have not for a moment forgotten what we are thankful for–one of those things being that that child was in our lives for a brief time. So stop acting like we have.
It struck me last night as I was going to bed that when I hear others complaining about how “horrid” their child are (to the extent that a couple of ladies from church have actually told me on separate occasions, “Be glad you don’t have kids!”) that if one of us who has lost a child were to say to that mother, “Just be grateful you even have children and stop whining!” that we would be ostracised and condemned. If you can never tell a mother with living children to “just be grateful,” why is it so easy to tell a mother with dead children to “just be grateful”?
I say either folks need to stop telling us to buck up and be thankful, or else we’re going to start doing the same to them…