Letting my guard down

I saw an old classmate from elementary school this weekend. We are Facebook friends, so I was fairly certain she would have heard the news. I can only imagine what went through her mind when she recognized my face in her yoga class. Probably something along the lines of: “What do I say to her? Do I say anything? Do I give her a hug? Maybe she wants me to ignore her.”

Of course, I don’t really know what she thought, but that’s what I would have thought. It’s not an easy situation to navigate.

Casual social interactions have changed, significantly, since we lost Brody. They’ve become far less casual.

Someone actually took my hand at a leadership seminar this evening, then she started tearing up.

My initial reaction to all of this emotion and vulnerability was discomfort. I wrote a draft blog post asking everyone to please just be normal and brief and for goodness sake, stop asking me how I am.

Then I thought, maybe I should push past my discomfort and embrace all of the candid expressions of love. Because when I recognize that people sincerely want to offer hope or to express that my hurt, my loss, has hurt them too – I can’t see that as anything other than a gift.

Now, I would also like to say that, if you see me, it is okay to smile and keep walking. If we wouldn’t have chatted a year ago, we don’t need to stop and chat today. Smile and wave. That’s still okay.

My former classmate was wonderfully sensitive and said something simple and thoughtful. I truly appreciated that.

But if you are compelled to stop and share your heart, I welcome you to do so.

In time, most unplanned social interactions will resume being perfunctory and guarded. People will say “Hi. How are you?” and I’ll say, “I’m well. How are you?” and that will be normal and appropriate again.

This season is different though, and I want to embrace that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *