I feel the need to comment on the words and meaning of Please, Don’t Ask Me by Rita Moran, this morning.
As I mentioned yesterday I had a counselling session, and we touched on how other people react around me. Basically, how I see myself and how I’m handling my grief is not necessarily the same as how other people view things. I always knew this, but I never realised how vast opinions might be until a few days ago. I’m not going to go into details, but let’s just say that a discussion made me step back and think about things for a while. Then, due to confusion on my part, I discussed this with my counsellor.
I told her that since the funeral, people (family and friends – online and personal) have drifted away, leaving my immediate family feeling isolated and alone in our grief. At a crucial time in my life, I feel that I’m forced to deal with everything I’m feeling and experiencing by myself. I feel that I’ve been abandoned. At this time, I need those people’s support more than ever.
This feeling has been with us for a while. I thought it would improve as the weeks go by, but it only worsens. I find myself asking, “why would people turn their backs on me?” I can only guess at the answer.
Maybe I’m driving them away with my mood swings and irrational behaviour. But wouldn’t you think that if these people really cared, they’d make allowances and stick close anyway? Or is that an unreasonable thought?
Maybe they just don’t know how to act or what to say. They might want to help, but can’t and maybe avoiding me makes them feel less hopeless. But avoiding me isn’t helping me. It adds to my problems, because I’ve lost a son and now I’m losing friends.
Maybe they were never real friends to begin with. Well, in this case, I’m better off without them anyway.
Yesterday, my counsellor asked me a question. “If you had the opportunity, what would you say to these people?”
I’d ask them to be patient with me. I’d ask them to read the piece I’ve linking to at the beginning of this post and know that those words are exactly how I feel. I’d request that they take special note of the last five lines. I need for them to be themselves, to talk about everything and anything including Barry, because he will always mean everything in the world to me and talking about him confirms that he existed. I’d beg for them to stay close and support me, not turn their backs and pretend that nothing bad has happened. I need for them to ask me about my feelings and acknowledge the struggles I’m going through. Yes, I might get upset. I might even cry. But at least I would know that people really care and in a small way that knowledge would release the burden I carry.
For me, it’s important to keep Barry’s memory alive. Don’t fight me on this, help me. Don’t avoid the subject because you think you will upset me, talk about him to me. Tell me about your memories of my son. Share stories with me. With time, the crying will stop and I’ll be thankful that you helped me remember every aspect of Barry’s life. I need this more than anything else.