Thursday, June 9, 2011

Friday's Faith - Grrr.... Forgiving Spirit when ROWLED up...?

Friday's Faith

Grrr.... Forgiving Spirit when ROWLED up...?

What do you do when a friend or acquaintance or colleague calls you FIVE YEARS AFTER YOUR CHILD'S DEATH (to respond to something you had to ask them), and for the FIRST TIME in all those FIVE YEARS says on a recorded message, after going into great detail about one subject, gives an oh-by-the-way quip:

"You guys have been so much in my thoughts and prayers,"

and then quickly moves on to the next subject. My gut reaction is,

"Oh Really Now!!!!"

How can people feel compassion for such a hellacious loss and not communicate that compassion IN SOME FORM before five years are up???

I've had to do a lot of soul-searching before God to calm myself down, praying to God to enable me to have a forgiving spirit. I don't think I can be kind in this circumstance without God's help...

What say you? I would love some feedback on this one!!! Quick! Or like these little dogs, I just might tear into somebody!



Pam said...

My friend always says to charge it to their head not their heart....I,on the other hand, would like to inflict pain on people like this. I lost my 21 year old niece in a car wreck on 8/6/08. life will never be the same and I ACHE for her. my favorite comment from the local idiot was "you'll get over it and just concentrate on the other children".....REALLY????? So I try to remember that some people just don't get it and never will. I'm so sorry for the pain you feel every single day without your arms around her. My prayers are with you!!

Angie Prince said...

Thank you precious Pam!

Your words were helpful - "Charge it to their head not their heart!" It is just amazing how people's insensitivity can be so hurtful when our hearts are so wide open in our deep pain amidst losing our child or precious family member. If they only knew...

On the other hand, I cried at your sweet words, "I'm so sorry for the pain you feel every single day without your arms around her." Thank you for sharing such tender thoughts with me!

I am so sorry for your loss of your 21-year-old niece. Her anniversary date of her death is 2 years and 4 days away from my Merry Katherine's Heaven date (8/2/06), so we will both be in deep grief around the same time of the year every year. I will keep you in my heart and in my prayers as well.

Thank you for reaching out with your heart, even amidst your pain.

Much love to you,


Angie Prince said...

Here is a comment I received via e-mail from a dear grieving-mother friend who lost her precious child at Columbine. She okayed me sharing her thoughts with you:

Hi Angie,

You asked for feedback about the person who left a message that they had been praying for you (5 years AFTER your child's death).  I think I would say something like:  Thank you for your condolence message; I guess you must have felt very uncomfortable to tell me sooner.  I would make them squirm a little without necessarily landing on them with both feet.  If they then apologize, you can gracefully let them off the hook, but maybe the message will have gotten through.

One thing I have found is that some people are very uncomfortable with death, especially a child's death.  So, rather than say anything, they say nothing.  I can't tell you how completely shocked I was when several people at church (with whom we had, at various points, been in Bible study with or shared a particular ministry) and they did absolutely NOTHING after our child's murder . . . e.g. no card, said nothing, basically just ignored us.  I'm inclined to not let that sort of thing pass.

Linda Mauser

Angie Prince said...

Dearest Linda,

Thank you for your advice about how to handle the message that stirred my heart up so terribly. I think it is very wise advice. As I was meditating over having to call my colleague back, a very similar thought hit me,

"Why don't you just be real with her Angie? After all, she is in the helping field like you and needs to know when her words --which I'm sure are meant to be kind-- backfired instead!"

She could learn from it, and God could use the hurt for good - for both of us. Pray for me as I attempt to do so. I certainly don't want to hurt anyone else with my pain, but people just have no idea how much a genuinely loving response shared in a timely way can minister to our deep pain. And even if their response is not "timely," their honesty about being rendered speechless can certainly be welcomed and understood.

Our hearts are just so tender, and so broken. I cannot tell you how much it hurt to hear that people who were close to you in your own church could not even reach out when your life had been so devastated by Daniel's loss... and lost in such a terrible way! Like you said, if they're afraid to speak, a card would work (maybe even many cards!). But to ignore? How hurtful! My heart goes out to you Linda.

I hope maybe someday we can share with the churches what is loving, especially when grief extends over a very long period of time. People have no idea what it's like to be in our shoes...

Thank you for sharing.

{{{Much love to you Linda}}}


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