Saturday, January 3, 2009

Theory of relativity

The day the results came back, a co-worker had come into the library where my principal was waiting in a rocking chair to scare her. Needless to say, she screamed when he jumped out of the chair. But then she started crying. We found out that the crying was not because he scared her so badly but because she was upset about her truck. It was broken, and the repairs were going to cost $500, which she didn't have.
After I got home and processed everything the day had brought, I got mad. I couldn't believe, in the wake of all of my grief, that she could be so upset as to cry over $500. If only my problem was coming up with $500 to fix a vehicle instead of what we were dealing with. (I've had a lot of those "if only" thoughts lately.)
Now before you think too poorly of me, do remember that anger is part of the grieving process. I have not been angry at God for this, but I did get mad over this situation.
After I cooled down, I got to thinking about it. I couldn't believe that I honestly got angry over this. It dawned on me that it's all about relativity. My co-worker's reaction to her situation was completely relative to her situation. That was possibly the worst thing she had to deal with at the time. She had a right to cry, if that was the emotion she needed to express. On the other hand, I had my own situation, and my reactions were relative to that.
That was a pretty profound realization for me. Taking it a little further, I realized that it's that way for everyone, and that my situation may not be the worst situation a person has to face. As a matter of fact, a co-worker of Dave's came to him telling him that she had lost three children of various ages. Our situation is nothing compared to hers. I am not a mother living in a third world country helplessly watching her children starve. For this, I am thankful.
Does this diminish our situation for us? Not at all. For the moment, grieving the loss of a "normal" child and the possibility of never being able to share our love with this child is the worst of our situations, but it does add an interesting perspective and understanding to others' suffering. And it does allow me to focus on all that I do have to be thankful for because I'm not suffering for worse situations. Nichole Nordeman explains it all too well in her song, "Gratitude." If you don't know that one, I highly suggest it. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can hear it. I highly recommend her, by the way. She's a very talented and profound songwriter, and I've found inspiration and comfort in many of her songs. Thank goodness for music, huh?

1 comment:

  1. This is where my family is at with my sister's soon to be son. We're grieving before he's born. He could live longer then a year, but we're all grieving. She even asked my husband to make an urn for when he does pass. I mentioned to her that her son may live longer...We will find out.