Yesterday’s News

So also the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A great forest can be set on fire by one tiny spark. James 3:5
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Yesterday’s News

Yesterdays news is recycled to the bottom of the birdcage today. Our revolving world has a constant thirst for something new, something different, something that buys ratings when in actuality it is “chasing after wind.” (Eccl. 1:14) One can imagine how quickly a struck match dropped into a pile of shredded paper could destroy a house. Lives are forever changed. Words strike a match too and set hearts ablaze.
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It’s risky taking on the establishment and expose the heart to further beatings. The community at large may not have an interest in this piece, but there is one out there who will find this rings true for them. I have had more time in the trenches than many so I will speak up for you. Perhaps you would rather I keep my opinions to myself and I still respect you even if you feel that way and you may respond accordingly, but I will still speak up. One tiny voice can be heard over the din of life and that goal is worth the risk.
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It’s when our world crumbles at our feet after tragedy of any kind that we see yesterday’s news for what it really is. If you are not fresh and new, you are discarded ~ which include the painful feelings that come with loss. It isn’t long before we become boring and a drag, holding others back. We’re no longer continuously upbeat and soon find ourselves outside the social circle. I’m older and can accept this condition more easily that those who are younger and thrive on the social scene. It’s hard to find someone willing to come along side and listen to your story . . . yet again. It’s not fresh news. They want to move on. They want you to move on with them so why don’t you, they reason. But it’s a hollow argument lost on deaf ears. Our hearts are preoccupied with more pressing issues that we grapple with every breathing moment.
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I struggle to find words to cover the difficulty encountered with the casual, flippant attitude toward grief “out there”. This is not said to hurt anyone’s feelings, but rather to impart a conscience determination to stop giving the grieving a continual tongue lashing with one’s choice of words. Yes, we are sensitive! I won’t lie! Yes, it may feel like you are walking on eggshells with our tender feelings. This is true, but there are ways to help us. Please make an effort. It may be way outside your comfort zone, but this is not about you!

* * *

Please, don’t tune us out. Please keep up a friendship. Please take the lead. Don’t volunteer to “help in any way needed” expecting us to contact you. Just go ahead and do what you are impressed to do. Put some teeth into your offer. Be specific. Don’t wait to be led. We always need to eat. We may need a break from small children in our lives. We always need a listening ear, a true listener, not a fake one who looks about in all directions for an excuse to escape while you’re still speaking. We have plenty of those. We seek real friends for the long haul and it is long. In fact, it is life long. Tall order? Yes, and unless you have experienced tragedy first hand, you sincerely have no clue.

* * *

I cannot accurately put into words how it feels to bury one’s child. I refer to suicide because that is my experience. Even if this is not your experience maybe you can still touch the edges just a bit. If you are a parent, can you remember when you weren’t? Can you remember wondering what it would be like once your child was born? Are we in agreement that once the baby came, you realized how “clueless” you were before the birth? Can you put into words how you felt when you first held your baby? The touch, the sweet smell, the warmth, the sounds, the tears that flowed? So how did being a new parent change you? Can you describe the feelings? Actually, I can’t. It is beyond words for me. The awesomeness still floors me…and now he is gone, ripped away from my life for the rest of my days. No, words fail me to speak of the deep anguish.

* * *

I am continuously shocked to my depth to hear phrases, loose words, whether intended to inflict pain or not. After reading long threads of expressed pain on Facebook grief sites, the heartbroken could fill page after page of words that continue to assail our senses. It is revolting! And  should you be ceased with intense desire to refrain from causing pain, good! Then the time it took to write this post has not been wasted. I have wondered aloud on Facebook if some persons could admin a new site open to the community to bring awareness and enlightenment to grief language. Is there interest? I don’t know. Would the public be concerned? I don’t know. Many of us are wanting to break the code of silence, shame, indifference, apathy that drapes over us like a wet blanket. Our ears and hearts are constantly bombarded with sharp, poisonous arrows by the use of words. Take suicide for instance. To hear the media use the word in a flip way, like everything from political suicide to career suicide. I’ve heard it all and so have you whether it registers or not. As a mom who has lost a child to suicide, it registers. My antennae are on high alert. That is no one’s fault. I can’t change how I feel, but we can all be more aware of our language. We can all learn to not say “I just want to kill myself” when we break a fingernail or say “just hang in there” a common phrase perhaps intended to encourage when said in the presence of the parent who found their child and had to cut them down . . . . Do you feel the jagged edge in your gut? As well you should. These are the nightmares some live with. Others have just as painful reminders. It may not be your story, but it is theirs. Its time to put someone else’s pain first.

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If you have kept reading to this point may I ask you a question. In your core beliefs do you extend salvation to those who complete suicide like you might extend salvation to your saint of a grandmother? If your answer is “no” I respectfully ask you to refrain from making any comments about your beliefs to anyone in public or places like Facebook where those suffering grief are likely to read or hear you. Any hurtful words only further crush our hearts. We prefer to hear from those who understand first hand or who are willing to put personal views aside if necessary and open gracious hearts to us in peace. We seek healing and kind words can help.

* * *

I’m speaking out for me. I am speaking up for you. Listen up, world. Grieving hearts deserve your best words. You can do it!

Do to others as you would have them do to you.  Luke 6:31

 

 

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