Well, now….

The only thing I want to say is this:

Please stop using the phrases “Get over it!” “Deal with it!”  “Move on already!”

People don’t necessarily rebound that quickly, and everyone grieves at their own pace in their own way.  You should be able to experience your feelings about any situation and not be scolded with impatience by others.

When my mom died, it was a sudden and unexpected shock.  My dad grieved and experienced things he’d probably never encountered before as he was not a man who was “in touch” with his emotions – Greatest Generation and all that – and so he probably suffered even more.  Can you imagine how awful and embarrassed and ashamed he must have felt after two months when his boss told him “you’re not bouncing back as quickly as I would have expected.  I need you to snap out of this.”  He felt worse.  He felt as if his already dicey emotions were being rated and calibrated for someone else’s inconvenience and he was found wanting.  On top of that, he was concerned he’d be fired simply for mourning his beloved wife.  I felt so much anger on his behalf.

It happened to me, on a much smaller scale.  I called the leader of the volunteer group I was a member of (after the fact) to explain why I hadn’t been available the previous week.  Her response?  “Oh.  Sorry about your mom.”  Wait for it.  Pause.  “But in the future, could you maybe let us know ahead of time you won’t be here?  We only had five people at the meeting and it was really inconvenient for everyone else.”  I bit back the response I wanted to give: “Sure.  Next time my Mom dies you’ll be the first to know.”  It was tempting to walk away from the group, but I didn’t.  I stayed and made it better.

The reason why such pronouncements are inappropriate should be crystal clear, but as I’ve just illustrated, it’s not.  Let me help:

“Please don’t presume you know how I feel.  Please don’t put your agenda ahead of my feelings.  Please don’t pronounce what is good for me based on what is good for you.”

And, may I add to all those on various sites who feel they’re doing their civic duty by explaining to everyone else in simple terms what has really happened to our country, you adding “Period.  End of story” does not make it so.  Even if Captain Picard said it, it would not be so.

America is an ongoing conversation.  Everyone gets to speak, everyone gets to feel, everyone deserves respect for the same.

What are you doing to make it better?

2016-05-22 12.28.40

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