How should we respond when well-meaning people say things that injure us? Has anyone ever delivered any of these platitudes, clichés or other expressions meant to comfort you as a griever?
“I know how you feel.”
“Time heals all wounds.”
“God must have needed her more.”
“You can have more children.”
“She’s in a better place.”
What is the impact of prolonged illness on grief? Does it give us time to get used to the idea of death? Does the anticipation in some way lessen the sting of loss?
I think on these questions as we mark Parkinson’s Awareness Week and World Parkinson’s Day, April 10th on the 2019 calendar. My dad had Parkinson’s. His symptoms began in the late 1990s, but doctors initially believed mini-strokes caused his shuffled gait.
I remember the phone call. My mother was on the other end. A neurologist diagnosed Dad with Parkinson’s disease. The year was 2000. She sounded relieved. Almost happy. I understood why.