People are arseholes…
They don’t try to be.
It’s not like they walk into a room and decide: Right, this is it! My moment to shine. My time to bring on new levels of arseholery and douchebaggery and find me someone highly sensitive to test these levels out on.
Look, some people do but most don’t choose to be tactless or pratty.
No, most people don’t. But I am finding it hard to be patient.
It’s not my job to tell you how to be with me (it’s actually, if I’m not careful about choosing my words, which I’m not right now, your job as an adult to know by now) but, for the sake of my own sanity, I’ll give you this: just be.
Just be there. Just be you. Don’t advise. Don’t tell me you know how I’m feeling, unless you do and if you do, be patient with me if I interrogate you.
Don’t try and compare this to the loss of a beloved pet, friend or aunt. Yes, we could obviously find parallels but my loss is never going to be the same as your loss and my process is probably never going to be the same as yours, on any level.
Don’t fake misery. You can miss Hudson without looking poorly or down at the mouth and I can smell phoney grief from a mile these days. Most grieving parents can.
Let me talk about my son if I want to and not talk about him if I don’t want to. If I talk about him too much for you, leave. We are certainly very blessed with supportive friends and I’ll find someone with enough capacity to deal with my words soon enough.
Don’t ask me if I’m feeling better – I’m not – I have lost my son, I have not recently fallen victim to a random bout of flu. If my answer to your “how are you?” is “shitty”, accept it for what it is. If I turn away from your offer of a supportive hug, don’t take it personally. If I don’t take your calls, don’t take it personally. If I cancel on you, don’t take it personally.
If I have made you uncomfortable in my grief, or the death of my son is something you can’t handle right now, now is your chance to grow up a little. Don’t fucking ignore me. Don’t stop speaking to me. I couldn’t care if you drop a WhatsApp telling me you remember we are friends once every two weeks. It counts.
And while I’m on that point, try and remember that, whether you’ve experienced loss or not, this particular part of my and our journey isn’t about you. I’m a human being. I know how hard it is sometimes to not identify with people who are struggling. Identifying or empathising helps you figure out how to help them. This is not one of those times. This is not about you.
I’ve been demoted. The universe gave me the best job ever; it gave me a chance and I kinda blew it. I went from worrying about shaping a person to worrying about whether we have coffee in the house or not. I need people who can remind me that I’m not the worst kind of person alive today.
Use it. Don’t use it. But be kind. Even if, at least in this post, you feel I haven’t been able to return the favour.