I was going to title this blog post “To the idiot who preached at my husband in the gym yesterday” but decided against it at the last minute.
But my blog post is going to deal with that incident and let you into our lives and our rawness, once again. Not because we need your sympathy but because our pain needs to serve a purpose. And if that purpose is education, so be it.
My husband is a bereaved parent, just like me. Men deal differently with pain and sorrow, as we all know, but that does not mean that they do not feel the anguish of parting with a beloved child.
My husband is a great dad and loves both his children very much. He has very strong bonds of love with Emma and with Georgie, bonds that transcend death and distance.
My husband’s heart has been left bruised and emotionally, he has been severely traumatised by what he has seen his son go through.
My husband displays signs, just like I do, of post-traumatic stress disorder in the form of IBS, as physical symptoms and a lot of anxiety, as emotional ones.
My husband has been told, just like any other boy, from when he was very young, that men need to be strong and that men need to provide. He has been doing this excellently, allowing me to stay at home and look after Emma and my own bruised heart.
But my husband needs a sympathetic ear and loads of love, just like I do. As a woman and a blogger, I have been at the receiving end of love but I think it is time we made it clear, bereaved fathers needs grace and love and understanding too!
I have recently come across the spoon theory, an extremely helpful concept that people with chronic diseases are advised to apply daily. People who have a long term illness or suffering are encouraged to get to know themselves and their strength and use their energy wisely during the day, to help them manage daily tasks.
Unconsciously, this is what we have been doing as bereaved parents as well, in order to survive. We have had to relearn to live and spare our energy by avoiding people and activities that leave us completely depleted. This is one of the reasons we decided to stop going to church, as the preaching not only did not help with our pain, it actually drained the meager resources we would have had, by presenting us with a God-theory that for us couldn’t have been further from the truth.
But yesterday, while at the gym, my husband was submitted to a completely unrequited tirade of arguments in God’s defense from a guy who thinks himself a Christian.
I will never understand the need to preach at someone. But to preach so bluntly and insensitively at someone you know to be in emotional pain and anguish is, to me, inexcusable.
I wish this reached the guy. Not only his ears but his heart.
I wish to tell him that yesterday, his tirade of self-assured religiosity left my husband with zero “spoons”, in the short space of a few minutes.
That probably unlike you, you
pompous little prick fervent little Christian, he had to face 12 hours of driving and work in harsh conditions, tormented by an all consuming anger we know too well and you know none of, as you have never felt the pain of losing someone you love, I am pretty sure.
That last night, I left him with my precious surviving child, while I was out at a bereavement seminar (oh, the irony, right?) and although he would NEVER do anything to harm her, he was totally incapable of providing for her needs. His all consuming anger blinded him totally to everything around himself and made him withdraw into his shell, like a wounded animal.
That upon my return, he was almost incoherent with emotional exhaustion and collapsed into bed and a heavy slumber of temporary obliteration.
That all this, ALL this, could have been avoided if you had displayed more empathy and less bigotry yesterday morning.
You, my non-friend, who call yourself a Christian, should have been a helping hand; your words could have been a salve for my husband’s broken heart. Instead, you chose to tear into his heart, uninvited and with great violence.
I do hope this reaches you.
I do hope that if you are to learn one thing from your “Christian” walk is that love can be expressed in so many other ways, words being the least effective.
I hope you learn to be someone’s strength by showing empathy and care and not drain someone of the little strength they have.
Be well, and please, for everybody’s sake, stop preaching!