Thursday, December 17, 2015

When You See A Blue Candle Posted On Facebook - Consider The Family & Practice Empathy~

I know people get scared when they see blue candles - I do too. 
But please, lets remember to consider the family whose loved one the blue candle is being lit for - they are going through hell right now. 

Their hearts are broken and their lives will never be the same. Talking about a tragedy is one thing - talking is OK, but publicly judging and public speculation re: the tragedy is another. 
You're words matter, use them wisely and with compassion and empathy, in real life and on Social Media. #######
When "diabetes complications" are listed as the cause of death in a person's obituary, it is highly insensitive and inappropriate to leave questions like, "did she have a CGM, or did she wear a pump,"
on the obituary link, Facebook pages,groups, and the likes there of. 
Lets keep in mind those grieving parents might actually be members those pages/groups. 

At this point in time, it is no one's business. The family is trying to make funeral arrangements, say goodbye to a daughter and sister, figure out and process how they are going to live as a family of three instead of four. 

Her sister is now processing that she is an only child. 

The family needs privacy and empathy, not  pointed questions, they have enough of their own questions to fill volumes of books.

And in time, there's a very good chance the family will go to Facebook for comfort -and those questions and the tone many of those questions were written in, will not give them comfort.
I've had people say tell me: But I want to know so it won't happen to my child/loved one - and I get it. 

But honestly, it's not about you or me and what we need to know to calm our own fears.
It's about a  family who has lost someone they love dearly and what they are going through right now, including the shock of loosing  someone they love  - they need to go through the grieving process and they need our support. 

I've had people tell me: You don't understand, your child doesn't have diabetes - you're not a parent.
You're right, I'm not a parent or a parent of a child with diabetes, but I am a former child with diabetes - and I lost a sister to diabetes complications in 1991 - I saw how my parents suffered, I experienced my own suffering - and we as a family experienced scrutiny re: my sister's care. 
I know what that family (for the most part,) is going through and what they are going to go through in the 12 months, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. 

Public speculation, scrutiny, and questions like the ones I mentioned (and especially like the ones I've chosen not to repeat,) place blame on the family and the person who passed away. 
That's not right, that's not kind, and that shows a lack of compassion and empathy.

To quote a wise woman, "The thing about wanting to know so that you can avoid it implies that there is something that could have been done. We all do our best to care for our kids, and I am sure she and her family did as well. Technology and diligence may provide some protection but they are not a guarantee... why we need a cure!"

When the family is ready, they may choose to share the how and the why...or not.
But until that time, lets give the family space,  and send them boatloads of our love, support, empathy, compassion, and prayers. 


Richard Vaughn said...

This blog is very well written, thanks Kelly! I have read about the young lady who passed, but have not seen the comments you are mentioning. I'm not going to look for them, they would upset me, a lot.

Mike Turco said...

Shocking. I can't believe there are people are like that. It's bad enough that people judge your competency with diabetes when you're at a party, etc. For people to be like that in light of such circumstances is just... It makes me feel sad.

Colleen said...

We have similar issues at our church. Some have chosen to not be listed on a prayer list because - people call them. They call and say, "OMG, you're on the prayer list. What's wrong?"
And when there's a death, people call the office to ask how someone died.
My very polite, church lady response, "Gee, I'm really not sure."
What I want to say... "It's none of your damn business." But I don't.
Way back in the old days, as a child at a Catholic School, we were taught to say a prayer when we saw a funeral procession on the road or driving by the school. I still do that.