In Consideration of Others

I’m editing some previous posts to respect the privacy of others whose personal lives and grieving process I related in my blog with out their permission. It embarrasses me that I failed to recognize my infringement into their lives, it worries me I’ve done it more places in this blog and don’t have the perspective to recognize these transgressions. I apologize.

Grieving does not happen in a vacuum. People rarely have as much attention directed toward them than when a loved one dies. Funerals are a great big party at which the guest of honor is not completely present and those closest to them stand in proxy, often having no choice in the matter. The event is rife with social awkwardness and attendees show up equipped with varying levels of skill to deal with the situation. Since there’s no clearly expressed end time, every unlucky recipient of an invitation to mourn is more or less a perpetual guest. Gives “doing the limbo” a whole new meaning. The punch bowl of emotions intoxicates everyone; being a gracious hostess takes patience, understanding and forgiveness.

Because I have remained confused about certain circumstances, unsure of my own feelings, getting feedback from friends whose judgement I trust has been an integral part of my ability to maintain equilibrium. One of the growing number of reasons I keep writing here, in a public forum, is to share some of what I have discovered, maybe help others in the process. I have selfish reasons for writing, too. I’ll get there one of these days.

But whether my reasons for writing are altruistic or self-serving, when it comes to whose story I tell, I must to respond to the outrage of another who demands, “What gives you the right?” I have thought about it, and I hope this is a fair answer: I have the right to discuss what has happened to me directly and how it made me feel. If another person is involved in the situation, if their actions have prompted the emotions, negative or positive, I believe I have the right to include details of their participation in my writing, using discretion where identity is concerned and making my best effort to not judge the other person.

I do not have the right to discuss, without permission, events in the life of someone else, no matter how much their life affects my own.

Finally, I ask that I receive patience, understanding and forgiveness. I’ve never done this before. I’d rather not be doing it. The list of things I’d rather be doing so far has no end and includes getting a root canal, driving two thousand miles in stop and go traffic in the middle of summer with no air conditioner only listening AM talk radio, waiting tables alone on the graveyard shift at the Hollywood iHop …the list goes on. There are few things I wouldn’t give to not have a reason to write this blog.

Barring a reversal of the irreversible, I’ll keep writing.

2 thoughts on “In Consideration of Others

  1. Lori C. Post author

    I truly respect your feelings and need to post this “apology” & accept it at face value & hope others do, too.  And certainly, others privacy should be respected.  However, in your defense, I believe that this is YOUR blog and YOU DO have the right to write about what you want.   Obviously your intention is not to harm or offend anyone else; so don’t try to be politically correct.  The truth of your feelings & experiences should not be diffused or edited to make others happy.  Most of us realize that our own reality is just that – our OWN.  Patience, healing, forgiveness, understanding, nonjudments….are all embodied in love.  Much Love to you, Shaye.

  2. Ben Post author

    Rights are a touchy thing when the soul is inflamed.

    I can only say how I would feel if I was the person who you had spoken about, and honestly, if I had said anything to you that it would help you in your grieving process to share about (or that necessitated you seeking counsel to come to terms with), whether in private conversation or on your blog — whether I liked it or not — I would accept it.

    But then, except in the most obvious of circumstances, I pretty much assume that everything I say (or anything anyone says to me, for that matter) is free to be disseminated by the receiving party at will, unless confidentiality is explicitly requested…

    Rights really aren’t the point here, in my mind, I guess. You have the “right” to share here what you will (short of libel, anyway), someone has the right to say they know your pain because they lost their cat last week. More to the point is what is the reason for the communication. I, agree with Lori, that it is obvious that you are not attempting to be malicious in any way. Your words are a service, not only to your own healing but to those who unfortunately will face a similar journey of dealing with death, and the subsequent challenges of dealing with the living as you navigate your path of healing.


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