I Don’t Know

After experiencing the birth of my grandson on April 19, followed by the unexpected death of my husband ten days later, it would have been easy for me to hide behind the words of my blog by continuing to write as if nothing had happened. I could have chosen to not let you know the pain, loss and sadness I was experiencing. Rather, I chose not to and decided to be transparent and honest with you in my blog on May 5. I am thankful that I was.

If you didn’t know, then I would have never experienced the comfort and peace felt in the condolences so many of you expressed upon hearing the news. Your messages did not go unnoticed or unread. I saved every one of them and have read and re-read them in the past weeks. Thank you for your words of hope and reassurance.

If you didn’t know, then I would have felt obligated to continue working and writing, while also tending to the details of my husband’s death and managing the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of myself and my family. This would have been impossible and even detrimental to do – even for someone like myself who can manage a lot at one time and who is known to be a ‘strong’ person. Thank you for giving me the time to grieve and to not worry about showing up in your Inbox.

If you didn’t know, then I wouldn’t have the opportunity to share with you some of what I have learned through this traumatic experience. It’s a really hard way to learn valuable life lessons, but in hindsight, I am grateful for it and feel obligated to share some of what I have learned. So, thank you for allowing me to continue sharing my blog with you every two weeks and the valuable insights I have gained through this experience that I hope benefit you, both personally and professionally.

One thing I have been reminded of this past month is how much we really don’t know is going on in the lives of others – whether it be our colleagues, students, clients, friends or even our own family members. It’s not because we don’t care or take the time to ask. It’s because we all choose what we share and don’t share with others. There will always be an element of privacy in our lives and consequently, there will always be people in our lives who will not know what is really going on with us.

And, I will be the first to admit…

I really don’t know what is going on with you. I don’t know what you have also had to go through and endure.

I don’t know about that time you had family stuff going on in your life and you really needed to take time off from work and stay home, but you went to work anyway.
I don’t know about that time you had a disastrous day, but you still smiled and did your work with a positive attitude.
I don’t know about that time someone had a terrible attitude, but you responded with grace and compassion because you figured they had something else going on.
I don’t know about that time you did something special for someone else, not for the recognition or praise, but because you cared about them.
I don’t know about all the times you rose above your own fears and anxieties to do what’s best for someone else.
I don’t know about the times you have experienced loss and grief and felt you couldn’t move on and yet, you found the strength to do it.

You do remarkable things, compassionate things, challenging things, and sometimes mundane things, every day. I don’t always know about them. But, I DO know they matter. They matter to others. They matter to me.

Thank you for inspiring and motivating me with your many unknown acts of strength, kindness and compassion.

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