On this side of suffering, so often I hear “I can’t imagine what you’re going thru. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be apart from your daughter for so long. I can’t imagine what it’s like to bear all you’re bearing.”
That statement, though said in kindness and pity, is really invalidating. It tells me, “You’re just as alone as you think.”
I never imagined I’d be separated from my daughter every day for almost a year. I couldn’t have imagined how painful it would be to only talk to her through a computer or over the phone. I couldn’t have imagined that this thing my canary child picked up during the pandemic would have led to months and months of separation. I used to count our separation in weeks. No longer. It’s gotten into the months and soon it will be years. Please God, let it not spread into November. I don’t know if my heart can take it.
So when you’re talking to someone who is suffering, this slow, long suffering, please don’t say “I can’t imagine…”
Say good things about the person who is suffering. Keep them alive. Remind the person who misses that person of how much this is worth it…the waiting. Because living it…I can’t imagine that every day I wake up without her in her room. Without her around my dinner table. Without her accompanying me to the things we need to do. I’m living it and I can’t imagine that this is my reality.
But it is. Please come into my suffering and help me bear it, not leave it for me to bear alone.
Because I can’t imagine this, even though I’m living it every single day.