Recently, I was caught off guard in what proved to be a vulnerable interaction with a stranger. This woman probed into the shadows of my life, and her gentle demeanor duped me into trusting her.  To be honest, I tend to trust most people in this regard, for the simple fact that I long to say my son’s name out loud.

At any rate, I quickly wished I hadn’t  been so forthcoming as I watched this woman pout her lips, crumple her brow and exclaim loudly, “How sad!” Her tone dripped with patronizing interest.  I scrambled to shield my heart in the likelihood of another disingenuous  remark, but was assaulted one more time before I could escape.

“I’m sure it was just meant to be,” she declared in a sing-song voice before offering a half-smile and a piteous head shake.

I was too stunned to answer her directly and hid within the scarred caverns of my heart until she finally walked away.  If I had a  do-over, however, I think I might have said, “No, it wasn’t meant to be, but God HAS proven himself faithful.”  Or maybe I would have just ripped her a new one… ” How could you possibly be so STUPID!?!? I hope you experience tremendous loss someday, just so you can know how awful you are!!”

I don’t want to play the victim – pick apart every well-meaning person who has the courage to say something.  But I don’t often want to be an educator either, always explaining and defending grief issues.  And I really, truly don’t want to be mean.  So I feel mostly stuck… sometimes stuck?  I don’t know.

I worry about venting too much on an issue like this.  Mostly because, I don’t want to be difficult to love – I want to forgive thoughtlessness when it finds me – sift through it until I can uncover the love that’s usually hidden amongst the offerings.  And love is always worth the pain, so please don’t walk on eggshells.  Please don’t second guess yourself out of sharing your heart with me.  I know not everyone can venture to the depths with me, I know.  But please don’t let ME scare you away.

I’m not scary, I promise… just broken.


4 thoughts on “Broken

  1. Susan Flemr October 29, 2014 / 4:28 pm

    Thank you for speaking for all who have been bombarded with the perhaps well-meaning, but thoughtless words, “It was meant to be.”…or some version of the same. In my many years in a pastor’s household and now as a pastor, I can’t tell you how I resonate with your words…but, I don’t experience the depth of grief and pain that you do when they are speaking about the death of your beloved Graham. I liked your afterthought words….they spoke truth to the situation. Probably better than my thinking I would like to say to her…”NO…this is a pile of shit…hell, if you want to know the truth…and not meant to be. But, our faithful God finds something beautiful in this pile of shit, this hell…and will surround me with it for comfort.”
    Love you. Sue


  2. Carrie Rollins October 29, 2014 / 9:06 pm

    Oh Kristin~ You have so much more self control than I…..I would have come unhinged.


  3. Jennifer Wallace Marsh October 30, 2014 / 5:24 am

    Sometimes, though not God’s Perfect will… he makes due with what has been slung our way… He knows it’s coming, and even though we aren’t prepared, nor does he really prepare us, He walks us through. It’s in those moments when the off handed, well meaning comment comes, that we know God is Real… Because All the Fruit of the Spirit are in operation when we (flesh) normally are not! I do feel your pain and struggle… albeit on a different level… but with Him we (Sometimes Bravely, then Sometimes crawling, and Sometimes being carried by the thoughts and prayers of ones who have gone before us, and those who love) make it through to tomorrow!


  4. Gretchen October 30, 2014 / 5:52 pm

    I feel your pain. I want to give strangers and acquaintances the benefit of the doubt. I want to share my sons’ names, to allow my grief to exist, unguarded. But, it’s dangerous. This kind of interaction you describe has happened frequently enough (to me) that I find myself avoiding situations where I may have to meet and talk with people I don’t know. I find it so, so sad and frustrating. Not only am I hurting with this deep, desperate grief but I have to work hard to protect my fragile self (which sometimes involves hiding or appearing unfriendly/stand-offish). And, protecting myself and my grief has proven to be difficult when my living child is constantly changing and developing…., and thus always putting him/us in new situations and activities.

    I never find quite the right words in the moment. I’m sorry this woman felt the need to tell you how it is…of course, with no experience.

    Graham is too precious for words, in the photo you included here.


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