On second thought...
A quick update on this post. I removed the list of comments today (5 Sept) that were orginally posted here. It was probably poor judgment on my part to put them there in the first place. I don't want anyone thinking, "Oh boy, did I say something I shouldn't have." Some of you have written and said things to that effect... "if I said anything that has been hurtful, please forgive me." Please, please know that you don't need to worry at all.
One thing that stands out to me in your feedback is that everyone has at some point been the recipient of those occasional or maybe all too frequent hard to hear words that we'd rather forget. So please, feel free to share your thoughts here, even if that means writing specifically about things that have been difficult for you to hear. I think that would helpful for everyone... yes? no?
[ original post below, minus the quotes ]
As much as we have been comforted by spoken words, we have also felt the sting of comments that were well-intentioned but ill-advised or ill-timed or not-so-well-thought-out. Honestly, 99% of what folks have said to us has been life-giving and truly meaningful. Unfortunately, we have on just a couple of occasions had our hearts wrung with words that shocked us so much that all we could do is ask ourselves, "Did you really just say that?" It would only be later that we would realize that, yes, that person really did say that. Those words are hurtful, penetrating, and sometimes hard to shake.
I really believe, though, that the "words we'd rather forget" come from good hearts, from loving and caring people who only want to help in any way they can. Sometimes in difficult situations we just don't know what to say (I've certainly been there before) and yet we feel obligated to say something. That's where the "don't say anything, just be present" thing comes in. Presence is powerful.
I'm not including names here, except for the very first statement. I am listing the approximate timeframe that these things were said, relative to Luke's death, just to give you an idea of how shocking they must have been to us.
I'm not really listing these things for any other reason than to let folks know what may be best left unsaid in those "what do I say?" moments. Again, and I can't say this too many times, virtually everything that has been said to us has been so very loving and kind and understanding. But sometimes the negatives are hard to forget... and hopefully I won't have any updates to make on this post!
The tongue has the power of life and death... (Proverbs 18:21)