I ran into an old colleague at lunch today, one whom I have not interacted with for a couple of years. However, I knew she was aware of our loss. As we briefly chatted, she had this sweet and knowing look on her face, but it appeared she was unsure as to whether or not she should bring up Jud’s death. She did not.
This commonly happens.
As I walked away from our conversation, I realized how hesitant people, particularly acquaintances, seem to be about mentioning Jud. I imagine it might be because they fear it will be too painful and they want to be sensitive. Ironically, what people may not realize is that not even alluding to our loss can be more painful-as though my bleeding heart is invisible. Jud is ALWAYS on my mind, so bringing him up in conversation does not suddenly remind me of my pain, it is ever-present; it actually just shows me that people see my wound and care.
Case in point, I also ran into someone else I know today. We were in the coffee shop and she kindly placed her hand on my shoulder and with a knowing look asked, “Are you hangin’ in there?” We didn’t need to get into any deep conversation, but this simple gesture touched me.
Any acknowledgement means so much.