Please be kind, patient and calm

Sullivan's Salvos

By Rod Sullivan
Posted 4/22/20

I got some really good advice a while ago, and I think it is worth sharing now.

When my daughter, Rachel, and granddaughter, Zuri, moved to Wisconsin, I was heartbroken.

I used to pick Zuri up …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Please be kind, patient and calm

Sullivan's Salvos

Posted

I got some really good advice a while ago, and I think it is worth sharing now.

When my daughter, Rachel, and granddaughter, Zuri, moved to Wisconsin, I was heartbroken.

I used to pick Zuri up from daycare two or three times per week, and every time I walked in I felt like a million bucks.

She would smile, her eyes would twinkle, and she would yell, “Papa!”

Then she would run to me, I would scoop her up, and I’d give her a big kiss.

It is truly probably the very best I have ever felt in my whole life.

But they moved. And I was crushed.

And because I am an extrovert, I told people about it. Interestingly, though, I did not get a lot of sympathy in return.

Instead, I heard from people whose grandkids live overseas. I heard from more than one person whose grandkids are in California.

I even had one guy tell me that his brother’s granddaughter had died.

In other words, the general consensus was, “You have nothing to complain about. Suck it up.”

I knew on some level these people were correct. But it didn’t make me feel any better.

As a matter of fact, it made me feel worse. Now I was piling guilt on top of my sadness.

Then I ran into a friend who is a counselor. She gave me some advice that helped me tremendously.

She said, and I am paraphrasing, “You are entitled to your feelings. You deserve to mourn the loss of time with Rachel and Zuri. Everything you feel is legitimate, and no one should make you feel otherwise. It is important to recognize that other people are going through similar (and maybe worse) things, but that does not make your own feelings any less legitimate.”

I really think this conversation saved me. And I think it is relevant now more than ever.

I have a niece (my sister’s daughter) graduating from Mount Vernon High this year.

I have a nephew (my brother’s son) graduating from Cedar Rapids Kennedy.

Their senior years are not going according to plan.

They are missing their friends, classes, sports, music, dances and probably commencement itself.

They are sad and angry. And they deserve to feel that way.

Does this in any way compare to those among us who are grieving the loss of a loved one?

No, of course not. And there are many more deaths to come.

Many more people will be in mourning. All these people deserve our kindness and compassion.

Meanwhile, my niece and nephew also have legitimate reasons to grieve.

People who just miss their job, or their family or their friends or their favorite restaurant – all deserve to grieve.

We all have reasons to be sad. Go ahead and feel sad. It is OK.

Sure, keep it in perspective. But I think we can all agree – this sucks.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment