Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Go easy

I remember when my dad passed away - I had just had surgery less than 2 weeks before & had to go for my follow up to see how my incisions were healing .... the day after my dad had died.  I can remember sitting in that waiting room & thinking, no one knows what's happened in my world.  I saw the doctor & told him about my dad because he had met him after my surgery, explaining how it all went.

I remember going through Target picking out clothes for my mother to wear to her husband's funeral - with my sister in law and one of my nieces next to me while they also were trying to see if there was something that looked nice to honor my dad.  Waiting in the line at Target, I wondered how many people saw us 3 girls out & just thought, "They're having a fun girls day out"....

we never know what someone is going through.

I saw this on Facebook the other day & found the topic so relevant & powerful... so it may seem a little long - but its heart felt & moving... & something everyone can be reminded of.

I hope you take the time to read....


The day my father died, I was at the grocery store buying bananas.
I remember thinking to myself, “This is insane. Your dad just died. Why the hell are you buying bananas?”
But we needed bananas. We’d be waking up for breakfast tomorrow morning, and there wouldn’t be any bananas—so there I was.
And lots of other stuff still needed doing too, so over the coming days I would navigate parking lots, wait in restaurant lines, and sit on park benches; pushing back tears, fighting to stay upright, and in general always being seconds from a total, blubbering, room-clearing freak out.
I wanted to wear a sign that said: I JUST LOST MY DAD. PLEASE GO EASY.
Unless anyone passing by looked deeply into my bloodshot eyes or noticed the occasional break in my voice and thought enough to ask, it’s not like they’d have known what’s happening inside me or around me. They wouldn’t have had any idea of the gaping sinkhole that had just opened up and swallowed the normal life of the guy next to them in the produce section.
And while I didn’t want to physically wear my actual circumstances on my chest, it probably would have caused people around me to give me space or speak softer or move more carefully—and it might have made the impossible, almost bearable.
Everyone around you; the people you share the grocery store line with, pass in traffic, sit next to at work, encounter on social media, and see across the kitchen table—they’re all experiencing the collateral damage of living. They are all grieving someone, missing someone, worried about someone. Their marriages are crumbling or their mortgage payment is late or they’re waiting on their child’s test results, or they’re getting bananas five years after a death and still pushing back tears because the loss feels as real as it did that first day.
Every single human being you pass by today is fighting to find peace and to push back fear; to get through their daily tasks without breaking down in front of the bananas or in the carpool line or at the post office.
Maybe they aren’t mourning the sudden, tragic passing of a parent, but wounded, exhausted, pain-ravaged people are everywhere, everyday stumbling all around us—and yet most of the time we’re fairly oblivious to them:
Parents whose children are terminally ill.
Couples in the middle of divorce.
People grieving loss of loved ones and relationships.
Kids being bullied at school.
Teenagers who want to end their lives.
People marking the anniversary of a death.
Parents worried about their depressed teenager.
Spouses whose partners are deployed in combat.
Families with no idea how to keep the lights on.
Single parents with little help and little sleep.
Everyone is grieving and worried and fearful, and yet none of them wear the signs, none of them have labels, and none of them come with written warnings reading, I’M STRUGGLING. BE NICE TO ME.
And since they don’t, it’s up to you and me to look more closely and more deeply at everyone around us: at work or at the gas station or in the produce section, and to never assume they aren’t all just hanging by a thread. Because most people are hanging by a thread—and our simple kindness can be that thread.
We need to remind ourselves just how hard the hidden stories around us might be, and to approach each person as a delicate, breakable, invaluable treasure—and to handle them with care.
As you make your way through the world today, people won’t be wearing signs to announce their mourning or to alert you to the attrition or to broadcast how terrified they are—but if you look with the right eyes, you’ll see the signs.
There are grieving people all around you.
Go easy.
- John Pavlovitz


  1. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 this! SO MUCH THIS!!!!!

  2. I absolutely love this! I remember when I was a teacher, I always tried to remember that each teen had their own problems even if they looked "ok" on the outside. Now, I try to remember that for everyone I meet. My friend who lost her son to leukemia this year said that was one of the toughest things - going about her everyday life with others not knowing how much grief she was going through. And I felt that way after Hurricane Harvey. You never knew what little thing might bring up ALL the emotions. Thank you so much for sharing this today.

  3. I love this so much. Seriously amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  4. This is so true! We are all struggling with something, so we should just be kind to one another! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  5. I love this. I follow him on FB and his posts are spot-on every time.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this. Such a great reminder. We all have things we are navigating through and it's so important to navigate as delicately as possible.

  7. So true. We mask our pain well. We don't know what's going on in other people's lives, even those we think we know. Who we think feel safe to tell us. This is such a great reminder that being kind takes no more effort than being rude or cruel or dismissive but can make a huge difference in someone's life because we all got sh*t we're dealing with every single day. Kindness is not weakness; it is strength.

  8. Oh how true, you never know,how much people suffer,so be kind to one another.

  9. Yes. So true. I've been there. I imagine most of us have been there. Hugs!!

  10. I've read this before. Such good advice. I don't think it's even necessary to look more closely at those around us. We, as the human race, just need to go easy on each other all the time. It isn't many of us that are struggling through something, it's all of us.

  11. You are so precious my friend. Every needs to read this, everyone needs to be kind and everyone needs to Go Easy. xo HUGS!

  12. This is 100% the truth. There were a lot of moments during deployments when I would think "you wouldn't be mean to me if you knew..." when it came to customer service issues or even parents at school.
    It's so sad that we do have to train ourselves to think this way though. We're not automatically programmed just by human nature.

  13. I can't believe I didn't comment on this earlier. See I am forgetful since I read from work but I have to wait till I get home to comment!
    I love this so much. It is SO true that you have no idea what someone is going through. When I was grieving, just the smallest act of kindness or small words from someone would make me sob. Just because I felt so grateful that they were thinking of me during that time. I guess the moral here is to just be kind to everyone every day, because someone somewhere is fighting something or going through their own grief!

  14. Darling you. Thank you for taking the time to share this with all of us. We are all fragile and dealing with something. If not right this minute, something from childhood, something from last year. Wouldn't this world be a better place if we were all just a little kinder and gentler with one another? Thank you for this reminder. Tomorrow I will smile more sincere smiles and speak softer and sweeter to everyone. And hopefully, I can begin to make it a habit.

  15. If everyone was reminded of this on a regular basis, the world would be a lot kinder. <3

  16. Such a good and important way to tread in the world.


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