One of our best friends passed away tonight after a seriously honorable battle with cancer. His wife, also a member of our little group of eight, is suddenly a widow after a painfully short marriage. Here’s what my brain is working out through the wide eyed disbelief:
I am not the only one with pain below the surface.
I do realize how selfish this sounds. I can own it though, because I think you are lying to yourself if you refute having ever resented an offhanded comment that metaphorically doubled you over with the insensitivity of the words. For me, there will probably always be a bit of an ache when I hear pregnancy announcements if it isn’t a part of the overall plan for me to carry a child.
It isn’t intentional pain that people inflict on me when they talk about growing bellies or post ultrasound pictures on Facebook. And it won’t be a purposeful heart wrenching when new acquaintances ask our beautiful friend if she is married or when friends talk about their spouses.
It is a defensive reaction to deeply frown and question why people can’t be more damn sensitive. But the fact is that it isn’t possible. The world is bleeding with personal heartbreaks and we aren’t wired to be able to consciously side step every buried emotional land mine. So you once again fall back into grace and recognize that for as many times as the knife was unmaliciously twisted in your gut, you were the one twisting it in another’s. Love deeply when you can and forgive the missteps of others. For whatever pain you carry, someone else could use your compassion more than you need it for yourself.