Tuesday, September 8, 2009

That Look

Hello my friends, as I have already read some of your post I know most of you have had a really good day making memories with your families and others are beginning to feel better after a couple of days of not feeling well. I so enjoyed reading all your news.

I had to go out today to keep an appointment, it was here in Morinville so I wasn't away for too long. It was another cool and windy day today, I stopped at Tim's on my way home for a coffee and as the line up at the drive through was so long I decided to go inside instead. It was packed and I was able to find the only available table in the corner, a small table only big enough for 2. I was sitting there people watching for only a few minutes when this smartly dressed woman approached my table. I smiled at her and she asked me if she could sit down at my table, I said of course as I moved my purse to make way for her tray. She was only sitting a few seconds when she began to tell me how tired and drained she was as she had just visited her friend whose husband had recently passed away. I said I was sorry to hear that and she said oh don't be, he had been sick a very long time, it was a blessing really. It was then I noticed that look in her eyes and I sensed her secret joy (perhaps this is too strong a word) that this tragedy hadn't happened to her. My feelings made me feel uncomfortable. I knew that look only too well. I had seen that same look from the eyes of my family and friends when I went through my own personal tragedies. The eyes are called "Windows to the Soul" I'm not convinced this is true but I often wonder why people think they can hide that look and conceal their true feelings. Many times I wish I couldn't or wasn't in tune with what others were thinking or feeling...but I have always been sensitive to others. For myself, I would rather someone just come out and say it, I could deal with that...... I would prefer their honesty but then many others may not appreciate it so I can only speak for myself really, about what is appropriate or not. I would like to think I would know my friend well enough to know how she would want me to be with her during such a time. I didn't offer much to the conversation as I kept thinking of her friend, hoping she was doing okay. Not long after that I said I had to go and left her sitting there with her own thoughts as I made my way home. I think what I am trying to say is if you find yourself in a situation when someone you love loses a loved one, realize that the grieving person knows you are genuinely sorry for their pain but they also know you carry a secret joy (that word again) that it hasn't happen to them, and that's okay, it's only normal. Perhaps in some way it would be refreshing to clear the air and in a kind way share your true feelings, believe me your friend will understand as she too will be happy for you, she doesn't want anyone to know the pain of losing someone they love.

Sorry, I had no intention of sharing this when I was going to post tonight. Perhaps I needed to express my feelings especially after sharing my table this afternoon.

I have removed my music from my blog, as many of my e-mails yesterday told me it took forever to open my blog and when they did the music would cut in and out as they were trying to read my post. I am sorry that you all had to go through this, I downloaded my music to my I Pod so I still have it to enjoy, so not too worry.

I wish you all a Wonderful Wednesday as I am off to finish reading my favorite blogs and comments.......Good Night and God Bless and as always....many, many hugs :-)


Granny on the Web said...

Quite a common experience, I too have found. I call it 'relief it's not me' look.

(*!*) hugs to you

Love Granny

Anonymous said...

You speak from your heart...and that is the best way to be...yours is in the right place, Bernie. I hope to gain your wisdom one day. It takes a special person to have wisdom. Thank you for sharing.

Eileen said...

You know, Bernie, I'm wondering if my sister-in-law didn't sense that in me. It was actually Ray's brother's wife. His older brother passed away nine years ago this December, he was only fifty and he had been suffering for ten years from a very rare neurological disease (strangely the same disease my Dad suffered with). Anyway, about a year he had passed his wife was visiting with us and I had said to her that I just couldn't imagine what she or my Aunt were going through (my Uncle passed away just three months after my brother-in-law passed), I said I didn't know if I'd be able to cope, and my sister-in-law got really annoyed with me. She said, "Well, one day soon it will happen to you too, and then you'll know." And she turned her back and left the room and didn't speak to me for the rest of the day.
So I wonder if she knew that I secretly harbored joy that I wasn't dealing with the loss of my soul mate, that I felt so Blessed to still have him here by my side.
She very well may have seen 'that look' in my face too.

Thought-provoking, Bernie.
Love you, Eileen

Wanda said...

Good morning Bernie...
I don't think I would ever feel someone's death is a blessing...in my mind the "whole ordeal of death"...the sickness, the pain and suffering, or the gradual decline of health is part of the death...I feel death is not just the moment of passing...so calling death a blessing, is just an utterance of someone not thinking deep enough...very superficial thinking on their part...just using a common cliche with no real
empathy behind it.

But Bernie...your Blog is a blessing...one I hold dear! Enjoy the changing of seasons...Autumn is almost here!


Rebecca. Harlan, IN said...

Well, that was thoughtful of you to remove your music (I guess). I hadn't noticed any problem....But I AM having trouble this morning uploading pictures to my posts. It's all getting very annoying, isn't it?

I'm sure you were polite as you listened to the stranger who shared your table, but you are also sensitive. Your comments helped me evaluate and think about what I communicate to others--especially in times of their grief.

Rebecca. Harlan, IN said...

Well, that was thoughtful of you to remove your music (I guess). I hadn't noticed any problem....But I AM having trouble this morning uploading pictures to my posts. It's all getting very annoying, isn't it?

I'm sure you were polite as you listened to the stranger who shared your table, but you are also sensitive. Your comments helped me evaluate and think about what I communicate to others--especially in times of their grief.

Blessings each day said...

More often people are afraid to even talk to someone with a tragic loss, Bernie, I think they are somehow afraid that if they do, it could happen to them.

I have often wished there were little pamphlets passed out at funerals telling people what to say or not to say. Most of the time it is just about them being there for you and listening.

People try to avoid talking about the loved one thinking it will cause pain, when in fact, it helps because of the feeling that they are physically gone but you can still have them verbally.

It's good when you do share these things Bernie as it helps to bring out more goodness and understanding in others.

Thanks for being such a swetie.

blessings and hugs of gratitude,


Diana said...

Good Morning Bernie,
I always seem to feel other peoples pain. I cry every time someone from our church passes or is sick in the hospital. My poor Pastor must think I am a big bag of tears!!!!
Life is so short and it's important to realize everyday that this could be our last. Not just when someone passes.
Losing someone that you've been with for so long , even if they were very sick , is like losing a part of yourself.
Love Di

Gail said...

Beautiful heartfelt and honest post. And I know "the look" of which you speak all too well. When I was diagnosed with M S people had that look of joy inside that I could see and feel that was saying "thank God it isn't me".

And when my sister lost her son we bonded in grif so intimately. I remember sharing with her that I don't know what I would do if it were my son.

This is very sensitive. I feel your convictions and I honor and respect your insight. I, like you, am very intuitive. It is both a gift and a curse. Phew.

Love to you my friend

Anonymous said...

I took my music off my site too, a friend of mine asked me where I had put it because she wanted to turn it off and then I realized that it can be interruptive. I sometimes put it on for a specific post. I enjoyed your discussion today, and I do believe the eyes are the window of the soul. I can tell more about a person by looking into their eyes and by their body language.

Anvilcloud said...

There are certainly varied and ambiguous feelings regarding death ... and life.

cinner said...

Hi Bernie, I can understand what you are saying, that look from a cousin who is relieved it was not her dad! One thing that has bothered me is when a friend hears that I have been sick, hardly leave the house and what I hear at the end of the phone is,,,omg I could not live that way, I would feel so out of touch...part of me just cringes...I Live my life the best I can with the circumstances I have. I hate when someone puts themselves in my shoes and say they could not do it...I feel what do you think my options are? I know it is not the same as losing a husband, but I understand, I am scared to death of losing mine, he is older than me by 11 years...You know Bernie people can be so clueless, example I told my mom my dog had runaway , and she said, oh well there won't be as much cleaning for you to do now. I froze in my tracks...I have never had children...it would have been nice if she said how sorry she was or something....bottom line we can only control what we do and how we react to others. You did a good thing by leaving that lady at Tims...sorry I just wrote so much. I feel so strongly on this. Know you were loved, are loved and will surround yourself by loving people. That is the best thing we can do. Big Hug my friend. Have a blessed day.

Bernie said...

Granny, that's a much better way of saying it, wish I had thought of saying it that way....luv ya, Hugs

Bernie said...

Jackie, thank you but I'm not sure I would call it wisdom, I think because of my personal experience I related more to her friend than her and I'm not sure I was all that fair to her.....but you are right it was from the heart....have a great day my friend.......:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Eileen, you know this morning I feel kind of bad for that posting last night. It's okay for that lady to feel the way she did as it was okay for you to feel the way you did....I'm sure if I hadn't experienced my own pain I would of been the same way as you were and that lady yesterday. Your SIL was feeling hurt and angry and probably still grieving when she spoke to you that way. There is no way she would want you to know that pain...Luv you, Hugs

Bernie said...

Good Morning Wanda, I so understand everything you are saying....I do think I was a bit harsh though and kind of feel badly about it today. Sometimes I type before I think....I am enjoying today, it has warmed up some......luv you my friend.......:- Hugs

Margie said...

Hello Bernie
I was thinking about this.
And I'm thinking that maybe this lady did not really mean anything unkind by saying "his death was a blessing"
People very often just use that expression when they just do know what else to say.
I'm sure she cared about her friend and will be there for her.
If she truly ia a good and caring friend she will be there for her.
And that in itself is a blessing!

Take care and enjoy your day.


Bernie said...

Hi Rebecca, I felt so bad when I learned what a hard time people were having opening my blog and commenting....I thought I was doing something nice and it turned out to be annoying...Yikes
Don't change how you feel Rebecca, just be yourself as I am sure your heart will always be with the person in need......:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hi Marcy, so excited when I read you had commented....welcome back my friend you were missed.
Oh yes Marcy you would understand as you have been through the loss of a loved one. So many people just don't get it but that's okay.
Wouldn't those pamphlets be a good thing, I so agree with you.
Thank you my friend, .....:-) Hugs

Tranquility said...

I have just learnt another something today. You make me a better person everyday Bernie..

Bernie said...

Good Morning Di, yes death is so sad and is a topic not many willingly talk about. I am like you, I turn to a puddle of tears when someone passes. I think I over reacted a bit though. That lady was really very nice and I know she didn't mean anything bad. I hope someday we meet again and I will buy her a cup of coffee she might enjoy...I don't think she enjoyed yesterday's. Have a great day my friend.......:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hi Gail, yes when it's someone else with the pain and grief we become so much aware when we too have suffered.....but I have learned some wonderful lessons through my most painful times as I am sure you have......:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

QMM, I felt really bad when I realized how annoying the music was to my friends, as long as I can hear it when I want too, it didn't bother me to take it down.
I agree we learn so much about a person by their body language. Have a great day.....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

A/C and I feel I over reacted a bit with that lovely lady....sometimes I do that and then feel badly after the fact. It's called live and learn....:-)

Bernie said...

cinner, thank you for understanding my heart....I know we are all different and re-act differently to certain issues. I think I am a bit too sensitive about the subject and should lighten up a bit.....so happy your dog is home.....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hi Margie, I am sure that lovely lady did not mean any harm whatsoever....God willing she will be a blessing to her friend in days to come. It was my reaction to her look of relief it's not me that bothered me.....I have to lighened up and not be so sensitive but I kept thinking about her friend....you are a blessing to me my friend...Hugs

Bernie said...

Stillness, I am not sure this is a good lesson to learn my friend. I am just so sensitive to this issue due to my own personal pain. I really think that lady meant well, it was that look that bothered me. Have a great day.....:-) Hugs

GrandmaK said...

This was a magnificent post! You know you are right. In some way or form I too feel relief that it wasn't me. However, I think that I still feel the pain, because it does impact my life. The friend is indeed mine and when he/she suffer I too suffer. The loss of friends and the emptiness I feel is real. It's certainly not the same as if it had been me, but there is loss for me none-the-less. This called me to reflect on how I behave and I will carry this with me!!! Thank you! Cathy

Bernie said...

Cathy, thank you, I am even a bit mixed up myself about this post, I knew what I wanted to say am not sure it came out right or not and I too feel so much pain for my friends when they are hurting.
I do think I could of worded my post better though.
Have a great day.....:-) Hugs

Eileen said...

Bernie, I don't think you're being too hard on anyone. Nor do I think my sister-in-law was. I'm not going to lie, her reaction made me very uncomfortable, and I feel bad, but since then I never mention my brother-in-law's death with her around, or my feelings about it, nor do I ask her feelings. I just don't know what to say anymore.
And she's right, I'll never know what to say, or how to feel, or how I'll cope with such a thing unless it happens to me.
And you are right too, Bernie, what woman will not be secretly happy that they still have their husband alive and well beside them?
You are entitled to your feelings, Bernie, as only you can understand them.
And I'm happy you feel that you can share them with us. And I'm happy to learn something. And it gave me a lot of insight into what must go on in the mind, heart, and soul of those who have lost the nearest and dearest.
Thank you, Bernie.
Love, Eileen

Bernie said...

Hi Eileen, you are so sweet and try so hard to be fair to everyone. You know I always wanted people to talk about my husband and my son, they were my life and still are a huge part of it but some people are uncomfortable thinking they may bring up memories and I will feel bad. I guess you just have to be yourself and take each situation as it comes.....I know you will do just fine as anyone who truly knows you will know your sweet heart......:-) Hugs

Choices said...

What a kind and caring person you are, Bernie. Thinking of others feelings. That is a beautiful way to be.
Take care.

Bernie said...

Choices, I try to think of others but am not successful all of the time. I do love and care for people though......:-) Hugs

Barb said...

Hi Bernie, I rarely think anything happens coincidentally. Perhaps this woman sensed something in you - I do expect you emanate a positive vibe, and I am almost certain you were smiling. Maybe she needed you to just listen to her - even if what she had to say was fairly trite. People often don't know what to say or do in the face of loss, grief, or death. I believe that today in Tim Hortons, you listened to a stranger who needed to tell you something. It's good that you went inside!

The Retired One said...

I know what you mean. Insincerity is easy to spot and it does make you uncomfortable if you are an honest person with a heart.
Removing your music helped tremendously in loading your blog tonight..thanks so much! I would wait patiently for your blog though, because it is so worth it to visit you!

Silver said...

Grief is a sensitive subject.,because losing someone is BIG DEAL.

Sometimes not saying anything but just showing them you care about them is really the best.


Jerelene said...

Hi Bernie! I just wanted to thank you for all the kind words and comments...you are such a sweet person!
Love, Jerelene

Bernie said...

Hi Barb, I have been on both sides of the fence on this one and perhaps selfishly I lean toward the ones left behind....their pain is so deep and forever. I really should have more sympathy for those who are trying their best to support their friends, it's something I am working on for sure.
Hope you enjoyed your day my friend,........:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Joan, not only you but many others told me the same thing about opening my blog...I felt terrible for my friends as it must of been so frustrating for them. Thank you for being one of my friends who told me.
Yes Joan, I am able to sense insincerity pretty quick after my own personal experiences....Have a great day my friend....:-) Hugs

Bernie said...

Hi Silver, you and I know how big a deal grief is, and though yours is more fresh than mine, the pain is still there especially on certain occasions....It really bothers me when someone is going through that pain and others just don't "get" it.
Have a great day my friend....Hugs

Bernie said...

Jerelene, you are so very welcome my friend, I am happy for you and your family. Hope you are feeling better.......:-) Hugs

Teresa said...

Hi Bernie,
I have been thinking about this, and I do know that I feel very uncomfortable around others who have recently lost loved ones. I just do not know what to say, but I don't think I am happy I have not lost one of my own loved ones. I try to imagine how they would feel, but that thought, does not make me happy, but perhaps I realize how easily their same fate could be mine. That is a frightening thought. Perhaps the look you see is fear, that this loss has struck so close to home. I don't know really...it is hard for everyone involved. Anyway, (((Hugs))) 555

Bernie said...

Terri, I think there are many people who feel the same as you do and it's okay. I think they are uncomfortable because they have a relief that it hasn't happened to them and also a bit of fear that it could happen to them as well. It is a difficult subject for sure, I think I have been too close to it personally so I have a strong opinion on how to treat those who are grieving....no one wants or ask for this horrible emotion but it is what it is and I have to deal with it. I do try and respect the feelings of others though.........:-) Hugs

Tamara said...

Ah Bernie, my friend. You speak from the heart, straight from the heart!

When it comes to death and dying, I love the Jewish tradition of 'sitting shiva'. Just simply being there, not necessisarily saying anything, but just being present and available.

Unfortunately, death is such a part of life.

Hugz to you, my friend

Oh, and is my music problematic too?


Bernie said...

Tamera, great to hear from you. I love the Jewish tradition, I think that is one of the best ways to honor our love ones.
I have no problem opening your blog and I enjoy your music. I think I had way to many songs on my playlist that caused my problem.
Have a great day sweetie....:- Hugs