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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Just Don't Say Nothing

This past FFL was a hard one to go to.  Two years ago, I was 15 weeks pregnant with my fourth child.  Two weeks after I came home from the conference, I lost the baby.  The Marriott is full of bittersweet memories.

As I was on my way to one session, I passed a seating area that I remembered from two years ago.  There I had sat, flanked by two of my wonderful FFLs, talking with Joe Solo.  I was feeling so tired.  But so happy.  I could feel my baby kicking, and it was wonderful.

This Thursday marks the two year anniversary of the day Nicolas was born still.  And much like most sad anniversaries, diaversaries included, it will pass largely unnoticed.

This post really isn't directed towards those living with D, but those of you who knows someone who does.

Anyone who has had something sad or bad happen to them, knows that most people don't know how to respond.  As the "anyone" in the last sentence, let me give you this nugget of wisdom:

Just Don't Say Nothing.

Even if the diagnosis was years ago, they still might need your words.

Sometimes when they're living in the mundane, everyday of their life, they need to know that someone is thinking of them, and caring about their struggles.

They need to be seen.

I'll never forget the time I was out at a restaurant with Elise when she was a baby.  I had checked her BG, given her a shot and fed her.  Towards the end of the meal, an older gentleman came up to me and said, "I think you're doing a wonderful job, mom."

Oh. My. Gosh.  The tears.  He saw me.  There I was, just doing what had become routine (a very crappy routine), and he saw me.

And Said Something.

After I admit that I've been struggling, people often ask me, "why didn't you say anything?"

My answer is this; sometimes, you are too busy drowning to scream.  When you're drowning, it takes every ounce of what you have to just keep your head above the water.  You don't have the energy to scream.  You need those who are around you to look up and take notice.

You need to be seen.

While I was at the conference, a friend mentioned my blog, and talked about Nicolas.  And you know what?  Mentioning Nicolas didn't make me sad.  I'm already sad.  My heart already hurts.  Speaking his name cannot break my heart anymore than it already is.

No, talking about Nicolas brought me joy.  Because someone remembered him.  My friend "saw" him. And by doing so, saw me.

Just Don't Say Nothing.

I've also experienced the opposite; friends that are completely tuned out.  And their silence speaks volumes.  

If you know someone with diabetes, or who has a child with diabetes, or a spouse with diabetes, or is dealing with some type of heartache:

Tell them you see them.

Tell them you love them.

Let them know they're doing a good job.

Just Don't Say Nothing.

7 comments:

  1. I love this post. Everything about it. It's so true. So many of my friends NEVER mention my son's diabetes. They don't acknowledge the different kind of parenting struggle that my husband and I have to go through by being our son's pancreas. This past weekend, though, my grandparents (who had a daughter with Type One) told us that they are proud of us and the work that we're doing. That meant so much. You are right-- being seen is so important. I remember your post about Nicolas and writing his name down. I was so incredibly sad. I actually think about him and you often. I'm so happy that speaking about him at FFL brought you joy. That brings me happiness.

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    1. Thank you. Your comment was beautiful and means so much. Thank you for remembering him.

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  2. Thank you for writing this. I admit to be one who often says nothing because I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing. Thanks for letting me know that remaining silent is worse than saying something wrong. I needed to hear that and I will work on it.

    I love you so much. And your whole family. Thank you for being part of my world.

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    1. Love you too! As much as diabetes sucks, I love all the friendships that I have because of it. Can't wait to see you next year!

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  3. I just got back from your beautiful country and was thinking of you. I hope today is a great day, not perfect, but simply a good one :) I re-read Gifts from the Sea over my holiday in Canada and loved the tenderness of being able to be honest like you are about our lives and know that there is always a continuum we are living on. And I wish we lived closer just so I could have a cup of tea with you and let you know that I remember, too. ((HUGS))

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