A Moment in My Life – Monday, March 1, 2021
A friend of mine messaged me out of the blue with an equally unexpected comment. He didn’t need to bother, but he did, and I appreciate his thoughtfulness. His message lingered on my mind, and I wonder how I would’ve handled it if I were in his shoes. He reached out days after Mark’s birthday, which tells me he cares but is conflicted. He needn’t say so, but I read between the lines. He did say, “I didn’t wish Mark a Happy Birthday since I know he won’t physically see it. I don’t wish anyone a Happy Birthday when I know they have already passed on.” That’s fine. I respect that. I appreciate his telling me.
How would I have handled that? Would I have reached out to explain my beliefs? People fascinate me with the array of possibilities of how they think and what they do. Everybody is unique, even in similar ways, which is confusing yet wonderful. I don’t have all the answers, let alone the right answers on proper etiquette, which is quite subjective as it is. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to handle any situation. It all depends on the scenario and especially on the people involved.
I know that we need different kinds of people because there is no one-size-fits-all. Bible says there is a time for everything. No one person perfectly fits all the situations. You never know who would say just the right words to lift a spirit at a precise time. It’s like playing the numbers game. Everyone brings us a little closer. Each one counts. Sometimes all it takes is one. Like my dear friend Lenore sent the only physical card in memory of Mark’s birthday. Her touching, heart-felt words teared me up while forming a smile on my face. All it took was one. Others showed they cared by adding their greetings on Facebook, texting or calling to let me know they remembered, and they care about me to be a part of this important day to me. Each of these people bothered to spread some love my way, which is worth more than gold. Not everybody did, and that’s okay. That’s the beauty of having a variety of people in my world. I got what I needed from those people who felt similarly to me.
You’d think that having lived the scenario, I would know exactly how to handle these situations, but I don’t. All I know is how I prefer to handle my situation. I choose to turn a negative into a positive. I prefer to keep Mark’s memory alive, and everything I do is based upon that belief. In contrast, other people bury the person along with any hint that they were ever on this earth. They would rather not get a birthday greeting! Those scenarios are tricky. I wouldn’t know whether to comment or stay silent. A few friends reached out to me tippy-toeing around why they reached out, and the takeaway was simply that they cared but didn’t know whether to address or keep silent. The bottom line was they cared. They didn’t know how I would take Mark’s birthday, so they didn’t mention him. All they did was let me know they care, and they gave me their love even if they didn’t know what words to give me.
There’s no right or wrong way. I choose to go with what is important to the person. Like, if my friend celebrates in memory of the loved one, then I will, too. If they prefer not to, then I respect their wishes. It is subjective, but the one thing that we can do in every scenario is—just give love.