Don’t Tell Me It Will Be Ok…

Don’t Speak, Just Listen…

When I reveal the diagnosis – don’t speak, just listen…

When I tell you the prognosis – don’t speak, just listen…

When I say that I’m scared – don’t speak, just listen…

When my eyes fill up with tears – don’t speak, just listen…

When I look as though my world has been ripped apart – don’t speak, just listen…

When I complain about how this life isn’t fair – don’t speak, just listen…

Just listen to my words, my thoughts, my feelings, my fears…

Don’t try to make it better or tell me everything will be ok…

Because when you just listen, I am heard and I will heal.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to write lately – so much so, that I haven’t written anything! It wasn’t until my trip to the bookstore to get my son’s summer reading books that I picked up a little gem from the bargain bookshelf for myself. Thank you, Mr. Rogers for the inspiration!

Page 58 of The World According to Mister Rogers reads, “PEOPLE have said, “Don’t cry” to other people for years and years, and all it has ever meant is, “I’m too uncomfortable when you show your feelings. Don’t cry.” I’d rather have them say, “Go ahead and cry. I’m here to be with you.”

I get it. It’s human nature to want to fix things. And we’re certainly not comfortable when we don’t know how to make things better. That’s why when someone we love is faced with a challenge, diagnosis, loss, etc, we want to help. We want to tell them that everything will be alright, to give them hope and to not see them cry.

But LIFE doesn’t always go that way…

I remember when my husband’s cancer had started to spread despite aggressive treatment – a sign that I knew was the beginning of the end, and a scenario I had discussed with his doctors over and over again. I had to accept it – no choice in the matter. What I didn’t expect, was the reaction of some friends and family to this news. They all knew he wasn’t well, but at the same time, weren’t ready to accept it. Because of that, I had to listen to hours and hours of people telling me that maybe things will turn around, and to stay positive. Everyone meant well, but I found myself spending so much time and energy trying to let them know that it wasn’t going to be ok, that I grew more and more frustrated that no one was listening! I wasn’t being negative – I was being honest, yet over and over, I kept hearing, “It will be ok, Sheila. He’s a strong guy, he’ll beat this”.

I was fortunate enough to have a few who “just listened”, and I leaned on them through it all. No matter if things took a turn for the better or the worse, they were the ones who didn’t try to make it better. The ones I could talk to, cry with, complain to, who were just there simply, as Mr Rogers said, to be with me. The ones who let me be heard and who helped me heal.

Thank you, Mr. Rogers! You truly, “got it”!DSC_0453

  • Sheila

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