I am a very honest person. In fact I used to be so brutally blunt I’d put a toddler to shame. Over the years it has softened, I’ve become more tactful but I still rate honesty in a person very highly. I don’t do liars and have very little time for people who are one.
The reason I tell you this is because lately I have been lying. However, it wasn’t my fault, society made me do it. Let me give you some examples…
The Monday I had to have my blood test to confirm if the hcg level had dropped I looked like some kind of drug addict. I had barely slept twelve hours in nearly three days, along with the massive bags under my eyes I had track marks on my arms due to the numerous blood tests I’d had and an air of “dead-eye” about me. As I sat and waited a lovely senior came and sat next to me, smiled cheerfully and said “lovely morning isn’t it?”. What I wanted to say was “no, this is one of the worst days of my life after the most horrendous weekend I could ever experience and my baby might not live”. What I actually said was “isn’t it? They say it’s going to rain though”.
I visited my good friend a few days after knowing about my loss, she knows about my situation in full, and her sister visited at the same time. A lovely woman who was extremely friendly and easy to talk to. In small talk she asked me “would you like any more kids?”. I thought I felt my friend tense up slightly and it would have been the perfect moment for tumbleweed to appear. I wanted to say “YES, yes, a million times yes. With all my heart and soul I want a football team of children”. Instead I forced a small smile and said “maybe, one day”.
Calling to reschedule my doctors appointment and upon introducing myself the receptionist responded with “hi Katie, how you going?”. I don’t really know what I wanted to say but it wasn’t “I’m okay thanks, and you?”.
This makes me feel a bit like the cowardly lion. I know wholeheartedly that it would be unfair of me to put my stuff onto these people that I don’t really know but a part of me feels like I should be honest and don’t ask the question if you don’t want the answer. But then, people are looking for a certain answer and it’s not one about such a sensitive subject. I know this way of thinking is coming out of grief. I can’t yell at Life for doing this to us again so I want to yell at the senior citizen for being so happy to see the sun and for daring to engage me in small talk. I want to openly cry in front of my friend’s sister and for her to tell me it will be okay. I want the receptionist to counsel me for an hour.
I try to be aware that everyone always has something going on in their life. I try to be careful about my questioning but I know I’ve done it too without thinking. I wonder if I would be prepared for the honest answer. I’d like to think with everything we’ve been through these past five years that I could be compassionate enough to hear the truth and offer an ear. Maybe I think that sadness can be such a lonely road to travel and a simple, light-hearted question can make you sob several hours after it has been asked.
Yes, honesty is a funny thing. Grief isn’t though.
Until next time,