Okay so maybe I'm just hyper sensitive because I have lost a child. But yesterday I experienced possibly the biggest display of insensitivity I have witnessed in 50 years on this earth. It happened during a speaking engagement that I was doing along with a dear young friend in a local high school.
My young friend had recently lost her infant son of 9 months. This precious little boy who I loved so very much was diagnosed in the NICU with a rare chromosome disorder 1p36. One of his chromosomes were missing throughout his DNA chain thus he had developmental issues across the spectrum. He needed a feeding tube and saw a multitude of specialist almost weekly. So yes he had his struggles...mainly with reflux and vomiting (which of course made him a bit unhappy) but when he smiled or laughed or made those awesome little baby sounds it was purely delightful. He was a typical baby in that sometimes he was happy and sometimes he was grumpy...but when you looked into his beautiful eyes they told an amazing story. Love and joy shined through like a beacon for the heart. Yes, he had struggles, but he was such a bubbly, joyful little man more times then not. I was blessed to spend a great deal of time with him and he loved to be held, snuggle, kissed!
His mommy and daddy loved him so much. They made a courageous choice to do whatever was necessary to ensure he had the best life possible...and as he grew he was making great strides. His parents tended to him and loved him...watching them was life changing for me and many of his caregivers. Every life he truly touched was changed for the better. He did more in his short 9 months then most people do in a lifetime. My heart aches for my little buddy, everyday, how I miss him. But he is with Jesus now...playing in glory!!
Ok, that's the background...now for the horrible experience. Right before we were getting ready for our first class one of the teacher's we both knew approached my young friend asking her how she felt about losing her son. Of course she said it was sad and difficult...this woman was like saying things like well he isn't suffering, it must be a relief, your lives would have been such a struggle and miserable, etc...on and on. I was standing there stunned and my dear sweet friend's face looked totally appalled as she should have been. Crazy thing is this woman, this teacher, couldn't even read her face, her body language or the tone in her voice when she kept answering "no". At some point during the day she did try and back-peddle saying this is what she was hearing from family members. Regardless if she had incorrect information...why oh why would anyone with common sense and an ounce of compassion even go there??? How very sad...not only for this individual but for those who really didn't understand this little ones situation to discuss it in such a way with others.
My heart was breaking for my already heart-broken young friend... words can be devastating folks...think before you speak...project in your mind the effect your words will have on others.