Friday, November 03, 2006

The right to be sad

Since her social worker left last evening Maria has come out of the bedroom to ask to borrow the phone, shower, and (she claims) get something to eat.

But it is okay. She has had a difficult time recently and now she has also been dumped into a home where she knows she will not stay. I would not blame her if she spent the entire time in the bedroom reading.

I told her so last evening when she came in. I told her that no one would expect her to be more cheerful than she felt and that she could just chill if she wanted.

I remember being taken home for Thanksgiving my freshman year in college. My friend and her family spent four days trying to cheer me up and make me happy. It was so important to them that they help me not to miss my family and have a good time. I on the other hand did miss my family and was not in a mood to have a wonderful time. All I wanted to do was to catch up on homework and pretend it wasn't Thanksgiving. I didn't though. I pretended to be cheerful and participated in all the family fun. I reassured them over and over that I was not very homesick, while thinking that it would be easier not to be homesick if they stopped reminding me.

When Easter rolled around in the spring I declined invitations. I stayed in my dorm room and caught up on work. I called home and missed my mother. I went to a movie with a couple of people who were also stuck behind. On Easter we made a small and strange feast in my room with our various toaster ovens and hot pots. We had a blast.

It makes sense sometimes to try to cheer someone up, but sometimes it is just rude.

Imagine trying to cheer up someone at a funeral.

There are things in this world that are genuinely sad, and we have a right to experience our sadness. We have the right to move through our emotions at our own pace.

Maria has nowhere she can call home. She is spending the weekend with a family she does not know. She does not know where she will be living next.

She has a right to be sad.

1 comment:

  1. She sure does. I hope she finds some calm at your house at least in that you're not forcing her to do anything she isn't ready for.


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