Author Topic: Inspiration: In Life and Death: Making Assumptions  (Read 1557 times)

John-Danielle Marie's Daddy

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Inspiration: In Life and Death: Making Assumptions
« on: June 29, 2009, 08:59:36 AM »
In Life and Death: Making Assumptions
By Joe Primo

Assuming people's feelings can lead to embarrassing gaffes in many situations -- when something is lost or gained, when a baby is born or when someone dies.

We tend to believe that losing is always bad and gaining is always good.
But I know many new moms experience profound sadness over the loss of their
old lifestyle, feeling their career dreams and freedoms dissipated with the birth of their new little bundle of "joy."

Similarly, I've heard children express gratitude that a parent died because that parent was abusive or unavailable to them. I've heard losers rejoice because they finally get to rest their bodies and minds, no longer having to pursue a victory.

Often times, I think we would be more available to each other if we ditched the "Oh that is so wonderful!" and "I'm so sorry!" choruses that follow major life events. I prefer words like "You're a new mom! What has it been like for you?" or "You're dad died. How has it been going?" Sometimes I might get a hostile response -- "What do you think?!?" -- but then I clarify, "I'm not sure, that's why I'm asking."

I think it is easy to put value statements on events: good or bad. It takes the pressure off of us. Rather than opening ourselves to the wide variety of responses we might hear -- especially uncomfortable ones -- we often diffuse the situation with our assumptions.
I doubt that it's intentional, but when we make assumptions, even if they're minor, we can enhance a person's pain.

Imagine the woman who cares for her dying husband at home. When he dies, everyone tells her she must be so sad, things must be so hard. But, actually, she is relieved that it is finally over. People might cause her a lot of guilt and confusion because she feels one way while they assume she feels something else.

Our assumptions on are shaped by our personal experiences or feelings about what is "the norm." But if we allow people to tell their story, and to express themselves without judgment or assumption, we will find that there are few collective norms, and that every person's story and experience is as unique as their fingerprints.

by Joe Primo/Good Grief

Wishing You Peace Along the Journey,
John-Daddy of Angel
Danielle Marie Plourde
1/4/1995 -2/20/2006
Memorial Website:
Wishing You All Continuous Comfort & Peace,
John-Danielle Marie’s Daddy
1/4/95-2/20/06 (head trauma-motor vehicle accident)
“Her friendship was an inspiration, her love a blessing”