Breathe. Just take a breath. Ok, you just need to say it…say it. Tell them. Make sure your voice doesn’t wobble- you’ll make them feel bad for asking. Matter of fact, it’s a matter of fact, so make it sound like that. You’ve been quiet too long now, you need to say it now…
My mum died…when I was 16…a long time ago…when I was a kid…
That’s how it goes, in my head, when someone asks, or I have to tell someone for the first time. A snap second of thinking, but that’s the thinking that happens. Trying to work out what words to say and how to say it, so that the person I’m telling doesn’t feel awkward.
But then, I made it part of my job to tell people. To write about, teach about and bang on about doing death better. Yet still, my snap second of indecision, every time. And if I’m honest, there are times, when I’m teaching, where I don’t explain the full story. Where I don’t tell people the root of my passion. Where I treat it as a mere academic idea in which I am a detached expert. And that’s ok.
Other times, I long for people to ask, so I can speak her name. So I can share stories about her like I’m normal. Times, when I’m teaching, and I invite people in to the truth with me. Inviting people into where the shadows have grown longer, where I can tell them of her light. And that’s ok too.
The thing is, the thought process is the same, it happen’s both times- even now. It’s just that sometimes I’m able to push through and say the word, and sometimes in the interest of self care and self preservation, I’m not. And it’s ok, either way.
Sometimes we can speak their names, yearn to tell you about them and love to invite you into our story. Sometimes, the truth might just be a little too much to actually say the words. Still ask though. Always ask.