I am overwhelmed by the responses I received on my last post. Thank you to everyone for reading it, for sharing it, and for your support. I am humbled and stunned by the entire experience. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
There is no easy way to move forward. The hushed conversations continue, the topics too scary to say at full volume. People glancing over their shoulder before committing to language. Suddenly, everything becomes ripe for analysis, and sadly, judgment.
Are you going to go to the wake?
Did you go to the funeral?
I can’t believe so & so was crying last week. They weren’t even friends.
We are living in a fishbowl. No space to breathe. No space to process emotions. No space to heal however each of us needs to heal.
We are all suffering from the loss, and while some parts of this shared experience bring people together, the judgment of others steadily chips away at the possibility of connection. This is new territory for so many of us. For those in the inner circle, the path is pretty clear & defined. You know your place without question. For others, it’s fuzzy, awkward, uncomfortable. The decision to grieve individually or within a community setting makes a statement, unintentionally inviting peer critique.
This undercurrent of judgment that is creeping into conversation through seemingly innocuous comments needs to be replaced with empathy. We need to come together now more than ever, and support those around us. It begins with acceptance and it blossoms with compassion.
I have a secret: this fishbowl that we all live in can be as big and welcoming as we can dream it to be. It does not have to be microscopic, toxic, suffocating. Collectively, we have the power to make our home, our school, our community truly extraordinary.
I challenge each of us to do something today that we may not normally do. Reach out to someone who is not in your immediate friend group and check in with them. Make eye contact, offer a smile instead of a blank stare, broaden your circle just a tiny bit. Give your neighbor the benefit of the doubt. Give someone a second chance. Open your heart to the possibility of something unfamiliar and uplifting.
Be brave today. Try something new.