That’s Right So Don’t Ask!
I never actually said it, wouldn’t have said it, but I sure did want to scream it every single day for many years! And yes, I do know how very non-Christian that sounds.
Rickey and I finally got around to watching The 5th Quarter tonight, and I actually sat up and cheered when Andie MacDowell exploded when a neighbor asked her how she was doing as she struggled with the loss of her son. Ric and I both agreed that although we had never told each other, this is exactly how we wanted to answer others so many times throughout the years.
“How the Hell do you think I’m doing?”
So let me give you a head’s up here. Don’t be dumb enough to ask a grieving parent (or anyone else) how he’s doing. You can’t be that stupid, but just in case you actually are, choose one of your children (or your spouse or anyone else you love with all of your heart), send him away forever, and then ask yourself each day how you are doing. And if you want to understand 100%, choose a horrible death for him first, maybe a death that mutilates him or terrifies him, or maybe even better, lets him lie and suffer beyond what anyone can imagine, then ask yourself how you are doing.
Only the ones who have stood where the griever stands have earned the right to ask the question because they KNOW.
For the rest of you, there are only a few things that those who grieve want to hear from you, and they DO want to hear from you.
1. I’m thinking about you.
2. I hope you can feel me sending you my love.
3. I love you.
4. Please call me when you feel like talking…or screaming.
5. I’m a great listener when you need to talk.
6. I’ll hold your hand and help you kick the wall anytime you need someone.
7. I can’t even start to imagine what you’re going through but I’m here when you need me.
8. I’m thinking about you.
9. I’m thinking about you.
10. I’m thinking about you.
If you haven’t seen The 5th Quarter, you might gain some insight from watching it. Rickey and I actually would not have watched it had we realized how intense it would be, and it was only sheer grit that made us sit through it. It is a long way from being the best movie I’ve ever seen, but the ungodly, searing pain this family experiences is as real, as true to life as I have ever seen on the screen.
If you’ve already experienced a great loss, I will just warn you that it may be way more than you can stand to watch. If you have not, I honestly think you could learn a lot about helping those who desperately need some help, some understanding.