The Soapbox (Part I)

soapbox

Although I’m happy to be back blogging again so soon (which is a rarity for me), my motivation for doing so is a little less positive.  I can see this exercise becoming a regular feature, so I’ll try to stick to the topic at hand.

As I mentioned I my last post, we have several friends who have not been as lucky as we have and are no longer  “remission families”.  We have learned recently that one of those families has come to the end of their treatment options and has begun to prepare for the next phase of this tragic journey – loss of life. This family has elected to involve their teenager in the decision-making process.  I, for one, think that this is commendable.  Every member of the family will have to deal with the loss.  Help them to transition by allowing them to be an active part of the process. Remain a family unit as long as possible, especially when you know the dynamic will be changing in the not too distant future.

Whether or not you agree with the way a family chooses to cope with illness and/or loss, criticizing their methods is never the answer.  Blasting them on social media or to their friends is counter productive  They are already dealing with a very, very sensitive issue the best way they know how.  If you cannot actively support their decisions, please stay silent.  Not only are you making a horrible situation worse by being critical, you are potentially destroying your future relationship with the family.  Everyone deals with pain and loss in a different way – your way is not better or worse, but it is not the path they have chosen for their unique situation.  Be a supportive friend or family member by honoring their wishes.  Your opinions are your own.  The consequences of sharing them will be felt long after the damage is done.

American author Gail Sheehy once wrote, “People in grief need someone to walk with them without judging them”.  Please be mindful of the pain words can inflict on those already suffering before passing judgment on decisions you cannot begin to understand.  When in doubt, be kind.  Life is too short.

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