Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Say anything

And following up to my blog yesterday about supposedly "annoying" questions...

As many of you know, in 1996, my father died. In fact, he killed himself. It remains the deepest, darkest chasm in the landscape of my family's life, amid a lot of other vast, dark spaces.

A lot of friends and colleagues said a lot of things to me during that experience. And I don't consider any of the comments wrong or inappropriate, even the ones that made me uncomfortable. And there were a LOT that made me uncomfortable. But I also know that every one of those comments came from a place of love or caring, or the speakers' own fears and insecurity. To reach out to someone that's going through a traumatic time can be a very scary thing, and I would never punish anyone who put his or her own fears or sadness or discomfort aside in order to saying something - anything - to me in such a time. I cherish anyone who cares, even if they don't show it in a way I would like.

The next time you cringe at someone who asks you a question or makes a comment about something happening in your life, particularly something very personal and/or traumatic, try to think about where the person is coming from. Is it truly from a place of criticism or mockery? Then, by all means, speak out. But if it's from a place of caring, of love, or even of fear or ignorance, consider not lashing out or cringing - consider appreciating it as a gift.

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