When I meet someone going through a rough time, or a person in my life is struggling, I want to help by offering some of the things I have learned since the within-five-months’ losses of my mom and my vision. But lately I have begun to worry: When does passionate sharing turn into preaching?
My intent is to let others know what it’s like on the other side of the difficulty and assure them they will get there. I certainly don’t have all the answers but I have more than I did before my life was upended in 2012. It’s only in the last few years, out of survival mode and grief processing, that I now know and can articulate what I have discovered about enormous challenge and life after loss. But the last thing I want is to be overbearing and/or superior about what it means to go through something devastating. I know with every single part of my body, mind, heart and soul what it means to suffer. And I am compelled to alleviate someone’s pain, even if just a moment of it, if I can by showing them they will, one day, be okay. I want them to see, through me, that you can have a good life after bad things happen. It is my number one priority after the people and bird I love and my intense desire to show someone the way through their most trying times can perhaps be off-putting. I will have to work on my delivery. But I wish I had had someone to tell me what I know now when I was in the thick of it, when my world was dark beyond my vision.
So forgive me, dear friends and strangers, should I come on too forcefully. But if you’re going to talk to people about their strength and resiliency, you darn well better do it with conviction.
*Amen, meaning ‘so be it’