Friday, March 16, 2012

Was Tennyson Right?

Yesterday morning, one of our employees called.  His granddaughter had died the day before.  She was 11 months old.

To say that we are all so sad for him and his family is a HUGE understatement.

A little later, someone said, "Doesn't that make you feel better?  Is your glass half-empty or half-full?  It could be worse."



I have noticed people do that as a way to try and comfort - mention other people's troubles as a way to make you feel better about your own situation.  As if to give perspective on what is really important.  And I know that works sometimes.  If I were fretting about a squabble with a coworker or a small fight with my husband or something.  But I don't think that necessarily applies all of the time.

Sometimes it just points out to me that things can still get worse.  And I know things could still get worse.  That is what scares me.

It scares me that after everything that has happened lately, my cancer could have spread.  Or when we finally start fertility treatments, we may found out we really can't have children.  Or when we do have children, they could still die in some horrible tragedy.  Or some tragedy I haven't even thought of could happen.

I don't think two half-empty glasses make a half-full glass (ok obviously fraction wise, two half empty glasses could make a half full glass, but you know what I mean).  Other people's pain doesn't erase or diminish my pain.

And that got me thinking... what is worse?

Is it worse to be hit by a tornado?
Or find out you have cancer?
Or be infertile?
Or lose a child?

Alfred Lord Tennyson said:

 "Tis better to have loved and lost than to never to have loved at all."
Is that true?

Is it better to have a child and lose them, or to never be able to have one?

Personally, I think they both just suck.  And we shouldn't try to diminsh someone's struggles or pain just because we think someone else has it worse.

One thing I know for certain, I feel horrible for my coworker and his daughter.

If there is one thing I have gained from my half-empty glass, it is knowing how much it sucks when other people's glasses are half-empty as well.




1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, that totally sucks! I just can't see how a normal human being can say something like that to someone who just lost a grandchild. Whatever other people are going through is not interesting in that moment. Everyone who are having a tough time need comfort and compassion, no matter what happens to other people.
    I'm sorry about your cancer too:( Cancer is cancer and is terrible even if the prognosis is good.

    ReplyDelete

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