grief support · On My Heart

STOP the Shame/Blame Game

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Completely out of context, but because this chorus is in my heart today, allow me to quote the Supremes:
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“Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Stop! In the name of love
Before you break my heart
Think it over
Think it over”
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My heart is a hot mess, if I may be truly honest, and I’m working hard to find a place for all my feelings. But I’m going to be perfectly blunt here, one of the thing that is killing me is all the banter I see on social media over issues that are completely heart breaking to me.
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Should be heart breaking to each of us.
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As much as I should NOT, I find myself scrolling through the abyss of Facebook comment threads. And what I see, saddens me.
 .
A child who got stuck in a pit with a dangerous animal is heart breaking.
Terrifying. Traumatic. Heart Breaking.
 .
The sons and daughters who lives were ended in a moment in the Orlando shooting, and those who were wounded yet will walk away with both physical and emotional scars-
Horrifying. Tragic. Heart Breaking.
 .
A precious little boy on vacation snatched by an alligator.
My friends it is nothing but rip-my-heart-out horrifying.
Devastating. Earth Shaking. Heart Breaking.
 .
I could keep writing a list. There is tragedy and heart break all around our planet today and every day. But could we for a minute just STOP.
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In the name of LOVE could we just STOP all the gossip and supposition.
True empathy will say, “This could be me. How would I feel?”
“Think it over!”
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Do you not think that they precious parents whose little man crawled under that fence have enough shame and blame running through their heads without the world heaping on more. I’ve lost my child in a crowd. For 10 minutes he was gone. I’m grateful my 10 minutes of hell wasn’t published for the world to chime in and let me know how much better they would have done. I’m glad I didn’t have a barrage of shame and blame thrown at me. I did a good enough job of that all by myself. What I needed to hear were the loving replies, “That happened to me too. I’m so sorry. It was terrifying.”
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Do you understand that the parents of the little guy snatched from their very grasp by that alligator will for the rest of their lives struggle with so many questions it will one day destroy them if they don’t find healing and peace? They do not need the judgement of the world. They need our true love and empathy. Nothing else. What they need to hear is, “I’m sorry your sweet boy is gone. I’m sorry for your heartache and pain. I’m sorry that your lives have been forever altered.”
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And let me tell you about the families of the Orlando victims and the survivors of the attack. My friends, they are us. There are parents, friends, and family all asking themselves questions with no answers today and for many days to come. They are people carrying their own shame and blame, “What if…”, “Why didn’t I….”, the list is long, trust me I know. What they need to hear is, “My heart breaks for you. You are loved. We will fight for you, for justice, for peace, for acceptance. We will stand with you with our arms extended, our actions reflecting compassion, and our voices silent. And when words are needed, they will be few. I am sorry. I stand in the wrongness of it all and hold space for you. I stand ready to be a fascilitator of change.”
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So when I say STOP, in the name of LOVE, just STOP.
I’m talking to you about me, about mommas and daddys and friends and family who suffer in pain today.
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When Mattie died it was unexpected, sudden, traumatic. I was the one breathing into his lungs as a paramedic pounded relentlessly on his chest and another one attempted to drill into his femur to give epinephrine. For many many months, my heart was full of shame and blame, “Why didn’t you….”, “What if you had….” Surely I did something wrong, missed something.
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My friend, it was hard enough to heal from shame and blame when the only words being spoken were silently spoken inside my own head. I didn’t need any helpers.
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So today let’s not break any hearts with our words.
Let’s allow our love to provide healing and understanding.
Let’s allow our words to be medicine to wounded souls.
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Think it over.
Think it over.
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May your words be love.
May your call to action be love.
May the response of your heart be love.
May we all do better.
Love better.
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Photo credit: `Olivier Jules` via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

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2 thoughts on “STOP the Shame/Blame Game

  1. Perfectly written. I hope that we all let love ooze from our pores because that is what we need, every day. My granddaughter took off on me one day, just before the little guy went for a visit with Harambe. She went like her little butt was on fire to go down the slide ‘one more time’. She was safe but when that little guy went for his visit, I was reminded of her hair blowing in the wind and her determination and I completely understood how this little boy did what he did. The little guy in the water with the gator. Saddens me to the core and reminds me how lucky we were in NC when we went ‘gator watching’. We have pictures of the gator, behind our grandchildren. Hindsight? yup, we run a huge risk of that gator just coming out that water and snatching any of us. We were blessed that day. I wish that this little guy could have been so fortunate. The Orlando massacre SCARES ME TO DEATH. I have family, my daughter that potentially could have been in a place like that, enjoying a night of dancing with her wife enjoying a night out. Or, it could have been any number of my friends, loved ones and it terrifies me. My heart breaks for each parent, sibling, loved one that they have to mourn their loved ones and I just hope they know that I mourn with them. Not as deeply, as I am only a bystander and can only speculate of how much hurt they are enduring. But I am here, and will be a shoulder, an ear, a defender. Thank you Tracie for loving so deep and being able to put into words what so many of us feel but can’t express. And sending you love always!

  2. So true and exactly how I’ve been feeling. I have abandoned much of my facebook account these days for that very reason. And yet at the same time, I’m glad I check in occasionally, to see posts like these. Thank you for adding light and love to the conversation and for sharing your personal story. So glad to see a post that echoes my heart. Much Love ~Mary Susan

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