By Kaci Goodrich Uipi
I recently watched a movie called You Again. The movie starts out with a girl traveling home for her brother's wedding. On the flight, she finds out that her brother is marrying her high school bully. She is racked with torment and can't believe this is happening to her. Nonetheless, because this is now about 8 years later, she figures her new confidence and self esteem will get her through this awkward time, and be enough to get that long awaited apology she has always deserved.
However, when she arrives home, the ex-bully/soon-to-be-sister-in-law, acts like the two of them have never even met. This drives her absolutely crazy. This would drive me crazy. This would drive anyone crazy... Well then, please don't do this in real life!!
I guess what I'm trying to say, is that so many people have done this to me and Salesi. They see us at church, and they act like nothing ever happened. They never mention Joshua, his death, the funeral, or anything. I know most people don't even know how Joshua died. I know a lot of people assume that he was born premature, or was in the NICU this entire time. Nope, not true. Ask me how it happened, and I will be more than happy to tell you my story.
I do admit that I have done this once or twice, but I don't want to be that kind of person ever again. I've recently been around people whom I have not seen for quite some time. I know they've heard about Joshua, but are just too scared to bring it up with me. This is awkward for both of us. I know it can be uncomfortable to say something, even scary, but you just gotta be a man (or a woman), and say something. Just a, "I'm so sorry for your loss" is enough, trust me. A hug and, "I'm thinking about you" is also good. Never say, "I understand what you're feeling." If anything you could say, "I really don't know what youre going through, but I'm praying for you."
Misconception of the ungrieving world: "If I say something about her child that died, she will probably start crying and be upset that I brought it up." Some people like to talk, talk, talk, and others don't. I have days where I do feel like talking, and others where I don't want to be around anyone. On the days I wish to be left alone--you will know, don't worry. (I probably won't return your phone call right away.) Whatever you do, just be as sensitive as possible. Once you get past the, "I'm so sorry for your loss", you could say, "I would love to hear about your son and how it happened if you want to tell me."