Monday, March 23, 2009

It's a Matter of Perspective

Not long after Margret died, I was talking to a young man of my acquaintance. He said he was sorry for my loss.

Then he thought for a bit, sizing me up, and said I was going to think he was a bad person, but if it were him, he would be rejoicing at being released from the equivalent of a prison sentence.


It's just a matter of perspective.

I don't think he's a bad person, just deprived of the right perspective. All he could see is the down side. Only having met Margret briefly, and on a day when she wasn't feeling up to her usual cheer, he couldn't know the up side.

I knew how loving Margret was, how empathetic. He never had a day with her when she was about four years old as I did. I was sad about something, and she came over and hugged me, and laid her head on my lap. She let me know that whatever was wrong, she was there for me, and loved me. I had not said a word about the wrong thing, I was not crying, she just knew, and wanted to make it right as best she could.

He never knew how strongly she cared about her sisters, and how much they cared about her. Or how loyal she was to her friends.

It's his loss.


Helen said...

Absolutely right. His loss. But I think in a misguided way, he was trying to comfort you. Some of the best wisdom I've heard so far is "Life is for the living." Margret's life has been and ended, and we will always remember her. Your life goes on, make the best of it. Margret would want you to keep dreaming and dancing and doing, keep knitting and walking and swimming, keep learning and growing and sharing. Margret would not want you to stagnate in a sad place just because she is no longer there to join you. That is what love is about. Don't forget that.

Ann of the Incredible Gift said...

I'm pretty sure you're right about him trying to comfort me. I've had some pretty strange things offered as comfort, and I try to accept that comfort gracefully because I know it's hard for the person offering.

I don't think of this as "stagnating in a sad place". I think of it more as "slogging through the sad to get to the other side." Sometimes the sad is pretty shallow, I get things done, and act pretty normal. Other times the sad gets deep and I have to swim. It takes a bit of time to get past the deep parts.

I would rather see the sad and grieving thing through and be done with it.

In the meantime I'm working on lists.

See tomorrow's post and the one following for what has been so difficult.