Thursday, July 19, 2007
Share the pain~
My daughter Joanna called me on her way home from work. She does this to touch base, to let us know her plans.
She's 23, living home after college, which means she sleeps here Monday through Friday, is out of the house before I'm up in the morning, out until I'm asleep some nights, and away on weekends. Not a bad deal for both of us, although I love having her here. We probably talk more by cell phone and email than face to face.
We share commonalities, but we are really very different in many ways. That's why I don't write about her, usually. She's very private, and I try to respect that.
She tells me, "You have no filter, Mom!" This is usually hissed in a shocked whisper after I've offered a laughing comment in public that she feels is too . . . I don't know . . . unfiltered.
I don't agree that I have no filters, but my privacy sieve has larger holes than hers. I let more through. I learned to do this when I discovered how lonely it was to live one life on the outside, and the real one inside. She may discover this later in life.
She told me that a friend and colleague, a woman her age, did not come to work today because her mother died-- this morning. Only yesterday did the friend share that her mother was sick with cancer.
Joanna cried when she heard, alone in her office, she told me. She was shocked that this friend bore her mother's illness alone.
I didn't tell her this, but I wonder if she might do the same thing in a similar situation. She doesn't like to appear vulnerable. Don't we think that's what we are when we cry or feel sorrow? "I can handle it; I'm fine!" we say. "I'll be okay." Then we sob alone in the shower.
I've learned it helps to share pain. There are others who want to share my pain. I no longer filter mine.
I overheard Joanna on the phone telling someone about sympathy cards. "The cards are awful," she said. "It would be so mean to give some of them. They'd just make the person cry and feel bad."
Ahhh, but this she doesn't know yet. People who grieve already feel bad. It is the tears that come when they read a sympathy card from a friend that will make them feel better.
I didn't tell her this. She will discover it like I did.