|Anecdotes from Avi|
During the previous anecdote we introduced a name for a parent who lost a child as “Bereaved parent”.
We, as people, are very good at feeling empathy toward someone else. We “understand” how someone feels because we have gone through that experience ourselves. We know how we felt while and after we have passed through an experience and as such we believe that others feel the same way, when they go through a similar experience. Moreover, we re-feel those emotions when we see (or understand) that someone is going through the experience that we had gone through. In the absence of going through the experience we cannot “understand” how someone else feels.
We know the feeling when we see someone who is elated because they achieved an A grade on an exam or report card and we know the feeling when we see someone hurt because they were cheated by a cunning sales person. However, we do not know the feeling of weightlessness.
During a talk show the interviewer asked an astronaut how does weightlessness feel? More than it “feels great” and “pleasurable” the astronaut could not explain “how it feels”. Better yet, the astronaut’s wife could not explain it either and she elected to tell that her husband needs to relearn that if he leaves the toothpaste tube in mid-air, it will not stay there.
During birth giving the nurses told Peggy, my wife, to let the contraction build up. After Ben was born I asked Peggy if “letting the contraction build up” made sense to which she replied: “Yes it does”. Though she could not explain the process of letting the contraction build up, at least not in a way that I understand. It seems that a physical feeling is just as hard to explain as an emotional feeling, to someone who did not go through the experience.
In general, we as a society, accept that if we did not experience it then we don’t “understand” it. It is generally accepted that men do not understand the feeling, the emotions, the experience of pregnancy and giving birth. Men do not understand how it feels to have a baby roll inside or feel a baby kick on the inside; the pain, the exhaustion, the euphoria of giving birth or the joy of first breast feeding; and in general, we, as a society, do not expect men to understand any of it.
When it comes to a loss of a child many times people feel that they are responsible for uplifting the spirit of a bereaved parent. At times people feel bad about the state of the bereaved parent and are afraid of making things worse by saying or doing the wrong thing, therefore some people end up shunning the bereaved parent.
Next anecdote: We will draw an analogy in an attempt to exemplify the emotions around the loss of a child.
You are not invincible –Stew Birbrower
Together we march towards a destiny