Thursday, January 22, 2009

Speechless

Today, I went to lunch with a couple of co-workers. I forgot how the conversation got there, but one of the girls commented on how sweet my mom was. I agreed, of course, but I couldn't recall where this girl had ever met my mom. I asked and just looked at her blankly because I really couldn't remember. She tried to play it off like she'd forgotten also, and then she said, "You know, at the thing."

Again, I gave her a puzzled look. I had no idea where she was going with this line of gestures, she just kept saying, "The thing, the thing." I really had no idea for a solid couple of seconds, and she started getting antsy. Then I said, "Oh, the memorial [for Dylan]?"

She replied, rather uncomfortably, "Yeah, you know it's hard for me to talk about."

I didn't know what to say. I just kind of smiled uncomfortably. WTF!?!?! And I'm very understanding of the fact that people are uncomfortable, it's a natural human reaction when dealing with death. If you haven't been through tragedy, you don't know how to react to those who have. That being said, I've yet to come across someone who's been afraid to say "memorial" to me . . . until today, of course.

She still wouldn't say it. And when I said it, she immediately changed the subject. I just smiled. It doesn't hurt me to say it! Truthfully, it caught me off-guard. I wasn't angry at her, just speechless.

Some Borrowed Writing

Excerpt from "A Grief Observed"
By C.S. Lewis

If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief or only natural happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to 'glorify God and enjoy Him forever.' A comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off.

5 comments:

Erika said...

I am so sorry she responded this way. Unbelievable! I get a lot of responses like that, too, believe it or not. I'll say something about my girls and some people will act as if I haven't said a word. It's really awkward and makes me angry sometimes- but I know they can't possibly understand, so I try to forgive them (key word being TRY)... :-)

Domestic Goddess said...

Talk about awkward. It just seems to me that the memorial would be a much easier approach than "the thing" really, we are all adults...use your words! I am sorry for you, that had to have been a very speechless moment.

I love the borrowed writing, C.S. Lewis is one of my favorites!

Crystal said...

I guess what amazes me is it has been 7+ months. No matter what the conversation, what made her make a comment like that when she KNOWS that the only place she met your mom was at Dylan's memorial which she is obviously not comfortable talking about. That is weird. You're obviously not too close to her or else you would have not questioned where she knew your mom from...I think it's pretty safe to say that we know who knows our parents and who doesn't. So again I am baffled as to why she would even mention it. Insert foot in mouth!!

Chelsea Pang said...

I found your blog through sgirl79's blog about her son Isaac. I can see your frustration with your friend. We are all so naturally selfish sometimes aren't we? Lord forgive us! I've also lost a baby at term, due to Trisomy 18. And I need a forgiving heart to all the dumb things people say.

Sometimes I pick my conversations to protect my fragility and sometimes I pick them to educate others on their narrow or confused perspective.

Look forward to following your blog!

Stacy D said...

I love that quote from "A Grief Observed." I read that book, too, and that same part really jumped out at me. What a comfort to know that ou rboys haven't lost the end for which they... we... were created.

~ Stacy (from Butterfly Haven)