The reactions from people when they find out what happened to me is always interesting.
Some people already know, but hadn’t seen me yet. Those are the looks I dread the most because they are filled with pity. You can tell they don’t know what to say, even though they have been trying to figure out the perfect combination of words. There is nothing they could say that would make me feel better, but the effort is much appreciated.
Than there are the people who start to congratulate me and I have to stop them and explain that the wedding didn’t happen. These are the hardest for me because I have to watch their faces drop in shock and embarrassment. They feel bad for not already knowing and I recount the story once again. Hopefully this time with more strength and less tears.
The wild card people are those that know and I have seen a few times. Most of these people continue to be amazing and supportive. I wish each time I saw someone I could say “yeah, I’m all better now”, unfortunantly, that is not the way it works. I know it is unreasonable, and I know it is not what they expect. It’s simply something that I wish could be true.
Many of these repeat people have recently commented how proud they are of how I am handling things. They can see how strong I am becoming. Sometimes I agree with them, but than there are times that I feel just as lost as I did the first day. No matter what, I am glad to have such caring people in my life. There are some days I push forward because I fear disappointing everyone around me.
I wish I could write a manual for people on proper left at the alter etiquette. Suggestions on what to say, maybe even some sample facial expressions, and don’t forget a list of things to never do. However, just like every relationship is different, I fear the appropriate response to a comparable situation might not be the same.
What I can say is to be compassionate and gentle. No matter how brave the face, most of the time on the inside the pain is overwhelming. They don’t need to justify themselves to you, or explained why. They just need an ear to listen, your encouragement and a hand to pass the tissues. Oh, and don’t forget prayer, there is never enough prayer.
Tomorrow will be a little bit easier and I will become a stronger me everyday.