Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Talking About It

That's what you're supposed to do, right?

When bad things happen, things that you're hurt about, frustrations, anger ... really, any difficult life circumstances that happen, you're supposed to talk about them.

You're supposed to do that because a) it gets things off of your chest, b) it helps you heal, c) other people can learn from your stuff. I'm sure there are other reasons why, but that's what I get just off the top of my head.

I do talk about it.
"It," being the last two-and-a-half years of our life ... the trauma, the tragedy, the loss of our daughter.

I need to talk about it.
And, I need for people not to be weird when I do bring up my daughter.
She will always be my daughter. She will always be a part of my life.

I need to be able to share stories about her, good and bad. But, mostly, good.
Good times. Things she did. Things she said. Who she was.
It's only natural that I reference her in conversation, but you don't have to feel uncomfortable when I do. Really, you don't. It's okay. And, if I tear up (which I probably won't because I'm getting so much better at not doing that), it's still okay.

I hate it that you might feel uncomfortable, because I'm not uncomfortable talking about her at all. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I feel relief when I'm able to talk about her to someone who is totally comfortable listening to me and even sharing stories of their own.

Don't think that I talk about our Katie all the time. I don't. You can invite us to stuff and hang out with us. We can talk about other things. But, there may be a moment where it's only normal when you mention something about your kids that I mention mine.

People who have lost someone close to them need to have the freedom to talk about those they've lost. They have to have friends who will let them just share and talk. It's not for you to try to comfort them. Not at all. You don't have to try to say anything that you think might make them feel better. They don't expect you to and what you have to say will just sound trite.
Talking about those you've lost is all a natural part of grieving. If you're not talking about them, you're not dealing with the grief at all.

Grieving is not just anguish and tears, but also finding joy in the midst of your deepest longing.

Tomorrow night, my husband and I will talk and share about Katie, openly with friends and strangers alike,  for the first time since her death. There is so much to say, not only about her, but about our life the past few years. 
(If you're in the Lafayette area, we'd love for you to join us.)

I have to admit that I'm a little anxious about this because it's such a massive heart issue for us. I'm no stranger to public speaking, but this time, it's different. I want to be able to honor this amazing girl in a way that she would be proud of. I will try not to cry, only because crying makes people uncomfortable. For me, it's not uncommon and become a part of my daily routine to get a little misty-eyed here and there. But, I will do my best not to so that the message of Katie's life and faith can be heard through it all.

It's been a little over three months since she's been gone. It's not necessarily getting easier; it's becoming different. The longing to see her again is stronger than ever. The hole she left behind is enormous. We talk about her less than we used to throughout the day, which makes me sad. I don't ever want to forget a moment with her. So, I will still talk about her. Just let me. And, just know ... it's okay.

1 Comment:

Brandy Burton said...

This is eye opening. I never said anything anyway when someone talked about their lost loved one; I've always just kinda awkwardly sat quiet or smiled, and really just tried to follow their emotions. I've never been good at knowing what to say, so I've always just been quiet. But it was always so awkward for me because I was so unsure of the grieving person's expectation or need. This really helps me to understand that this is a normal part of grieving and there are no expectations on the listeners! Well written!