I’ve been thinking today about small talk… I have to admit I’m not really one to start up general conversation with people I don’t know, but for some this is a gift. For myself, I wonder why they would have any interest in knowing my life? I mean for whatever reason; attending the same meeting, placed at the same table, paying for items at Target. Maybe these people are more outgoing/extrovert than me. I mean, what do extroverts think of introverts? Are they more intrigued by introverts, because “I’m thinking” by nature an extrovert likes and is comfortable sharing and by all means has the best intentions when inquiring about your life.
Five years ago it didn’t bother me a bit for people to inquire, ask questions about my life, my children, my job. Even though I would consider myself an introvert I was open to talking about the prides of my life, but about five years ago I found it very difficult when people ask questions that I thought where leading me to a corner I didn’t want to be backed into. The candy coated stories that weren’t mine to share. We all have them as our children become adults. We as parents have to take a step back in what we share because their business isn’t always ours to share any longer. So how’s Grant? Is he still in School? Where’s he working these days? I began to be very good at keeping myself safe in my bubble… Yes bubble, no corners… I learned how to glide myself politely away from people. I knew that they had all good intentions asking. I myself had to think about the questions I asked because I very quickly learned. I found myself thinking twice about how I related to people
Whether you’re in a checkout lane at Target or passing someone in the hall… I mean let’s be honest your problems not going to get an honest answer from a stranger so you say fine or well.
I thought two years ago I’m never going to ask someone how they are unless I really want to know. It’s such a general question and a lot of the time it just forces us to lie. I know in my gut all was well intended, but boy…. When life isn’t going so well and you find yourself in this invisible corner that you would sell your soul to get out of you really start to think. I’m sure many can relate to what I’m saying as I sit among a table of amazing people.
“Hi I’m ……. “ “Hi I’m Kim.. So you live in Andover too? Yes, so do you have children? Yep; shoveling in a large portion of food…how many? 4 ‘ Shovel … boys or girls? 3 girls and a boy, shovel… Oh does your son play sports?… and heaven rang the timeout bell… The Angel across the table finely distracted her onto a different subject as I prolong swallowing my foods just so I could avoid answering any more questions… God bless her and I truly mean that… How would she have known??!! The extrovert is now interacting with this introvert who at first felt safe at this table of conversation. Everyone at the table knew Grant and myself except this one couple. These situations happen often and I have struggled how to answer and hold back tears. Backed in that corner I keep finding myself in. I’m learning how to gracefully trust that the two walls won’t cave in. I’m slowly learning to accept that Grant is gone. For over two years I have been consumed with missing him. I could talk about him all day. Grant being the topic of conversation is a comforting happy moment for me. However, when caught off guard by a sincere question/conversation I am not only forced to say the words My Son Died, but I have to feel bad the innocent question made someone feel bad for asking. Then the wonder in their face how. if I could say my son died of cancer or in a traffic accident I could feel less shameful. But when that since question of “how did your son die” it’s hard to say he overdosed because it is so misunderstood. For some they think its suicide, for some its considered????? I think even for my own mother it was hard to answer that question over and over again… There’s no pretty way of saying someone you love is/ was an addict without negative thinking of others. Not all, but still far too many think it’s???? We all struggle with demons…some more earthly accepted then others. But when it comes to our children we love them no matter what. Losing a child hurt more than any pain on this earth… How they died? It doesn’t matter.
On the worst days we love our children no less than the good days. It’s the bad days that make us aware of just how much.
I Love you Grantie