We’ve all done it right?
Commented on something on Facebook or other social media, before actually reading the comments before us, only to find ourselves looking foolish.
This is currently happening to me right now, but I am on the receiving end, and it’s heartbreaking…
Back in late late September, I saw a post going around on Facebook about a father who had terminal cancer, who had decided to walk his unmarried daughters down the aisle before he passed, so they could have that sweet memory.
I confess, it made me cry, but not just for the usual reasons.
I, myself, was also going through a similar circumstance. I had been staying at my mother’s house, planning my wedding, and sitting by my father’s bedside as he lived his last days. I knew I couldn’t leave him. So Charlie understood when I packed a bag and told him I’d see him soon.
My father had just been put on hospice and I had spent the evening holding his hand and watching him breathe by his bedside. Saying my last goodbyes.
I had to take a break, get some fresh air, cry alone. I sat down on the couch, alone in my parents living room and checked my Facebook page. Then I saw the article. I felt compelled to tell those girls how lucky they had been, to have that experience. It went like this…
“My father is days away from death, terminal pancreatic cancer, diagnosed in July… My wedding is in 12 days. We all hoped he would make it to give me away, but sadly he won’t be able to. This story brought tears to my eyes. I hope those girls know how speical that is and how much they have. I’d give anything to have my father there for my vows but I know he’ll be watching over me and be there in spirit.”
It got 704 likes.
And 43 replies.
Not all of which, sadly, were words of love and hope and encouragement.
Instead I got;
“I would do it early in the courthouse…”
“Why didn’t you make it earlier?”
“I would have had a ceremony in the hospital…”
And even after I posted in the comments;
“We didn’t want to move the wedding per my father’s wishes. He never wanted anyone to make a fuss over him. We changed what we could and hoped he would have made it, but sadly he passes Tuesday morning at 4:22, just hours after I wrote this. He’s at peace now, and he went surrounded by loved ones. Thanks for all your comments.”
But still, after all my updates, I still got;
“Have faith in God.”
“Put your gown and veil on and lay down with him, have a photo done…”
“I wish I had a magic wand that really worked!”
I know people like to be supportive, and I know they like to get up on their internet soapboxes and spew semi anonymous advice behind an avatar, but at that moment it was the last thing I needed. And I got all these updates, these replies, these helpful tidbits of advice, to my iPhone… while calling crematoriums and consoling my mother.
I wish those people had had the forethought to read the comments before theirs, at least a few of them… before spewing unhelpful, ignorant and hurtful words. Because the last thing you need when mourning a loss, is people who don’t know you, telling you how you could have done it better. Smarter. Their way.
This entire post was prompted, because after 4 months of healing and putting this all behind me, somehow the post reared it’s head and I started getting advice again. In strangers eyes, I had done it wrong.
Hindsight is 20/20.
Perhaps had I known everything I know now, then… maybe I could have done it better, smarter…and still done it my way.
The point is, just because you think you know, it just may be that you honestly have no idea. I’m stronger than most. But this type of commenting, this hateful advice, could it be considered “bullying” in today’s society? I have no idea, but I’m trying not to let it bother me.
But I felt I should share anyway.
So lovely people, my tidbit of helpful advice today is “Read before you type.” It just might save a stranger some unnecessary tears and heartbreak.