I have been told that I have a big mouth. And that this mouth is going to get me in trouble.
I have been told that I inherited it from my grandmother’s. She was a civic activist in her town and her mouth got her into trouble. Though I think her mouth did the city a lot of good. The people who didn’t like probably were up to no good and didn’t like being called out.
I almost got into an internet pissing match today.
Because I opened my mouth.
So today was Valentine’s Day. I did okay. Thanks partly to a shit-ton of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
But I am also active in the online young widow community.
Yes, there is enough young widows and widowers that we have online communities.
A member of one of these communities was upset about a MEME.
The MEME would appear benign to any NORM.
(A NORM is the term used in the widow world to denote a person who is otherwise normal and has not suffered the trauma of watching their person die. Most people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s are NORMS. I believe the first time I heard that term was in my friend Michelle’s blog.)
So this MEME showed an old couple and said something to the effect that real love was that of Grandma and Grandpa.
This one might have been it-
Now, stuff like that makes me roll my eyes and say “Must be nice”. Yes, I get that this sweet. And I have nothing against elderly couples. However, some of the widows in the widow community were very upset by this. It’s understandable. We were all married and we all thought we were going to grow old with that person and then they die.
So of course I have to comment saying that posts like that make young widows feel worse than they already do.
Then I forget that I made the comment.
The page (I have the screenshot but for some strange reason, I feel the need to protect the guilty) responds later and while they apologized for my loss (thank you very much) they suggested that I not be on Facebook today.
I should be banished from social media and communication from my family, friends and the outside world because it is too much of a burden on people to take a moment and think about someone other than themselves who may be hurting.
Oh and they accused me of only thinking of myself.
We know that what they say when you point fingers…(that when you point a finger, you have three pointing back at you).
Like, the whole widowed community should be banned from Facebook because the pain of the reality that they live every single day makes people inconvenienced or uncomfortable.
Actually no, I am not sorry.
I was going to let my anger dictate what I wrote next but then I decided that I shouldn’t be mad at the person running the page or the sheeple who liked her comment.
First off, I remember all those times I got mad about people and Bryon would tell me that a fight wasn’t worth it.
Either that or he would say that you can’t argue with stupid.
I decided both Bryon-isms applied to this scenario.
I reminded myself that most people don’t understand the magnitude of this kind of loss. Personally I am surrounded by an army of allies who witnessed what I went through and are sensitive to what a widow goes through. To say my allies don’t understand my loss would be disingenuous.
While some of my friends and acquaintances may have said somethings that were well-intentioned but thoughtless (which I thought this MEME was) no one, and I mean no one, has completely dismissed my feelings. Well one person did but the person made the comment behind my back to one of my best friends and I ended that friendship.
I can’t expect a person to be sympathetic to young widows and widowers if they have no experienced that loss or if they have not witnessed a close friend or family member experience that loss.
They are ignorant.
They do not know.
So instead of engaging in a rude conversation, I said that I hope they never experience this kind of loss but if they do, I sincerely hope people are kinder to them.
Apparently that was the wrong answer. This person then writes back asking how it was rude and then tries to make comparisons that that don’t compare to the scenario.
I was tempted to write back and illustrate the holes in the logic. This person was clearly feeling defensive.
Then I decided that it’s truly wasn’t worth my time and that I couldn’t argue with stupidity and ignorance.
It’s amazing how prideful people can be. A simple “I am sorry. I didn’t realize how this could be offensive to __________” would have worked and it would have saved that person from a lot of typing.
But some people really can’t admit that they may have been wrong.
And I do not feel bad for one second that I stood up for the widowed cause.
At the end of the experience, I had three takeaways.
- I am a very different person because in the past, I would have been sucked into an argument with these random internet people. The fact that I did not get sucked in proves that a change has happened with my personality. And I like this change.
- Those of us who advocate for “grief awareness” have ALOT of work to do.
- The behavior by the guilty party is not limited to ignorance about widowhood. This works in many different areas. You don’t know what a person is going through unless you have walked in their shoes. We all could benefit from being a little understanding and empathetic.