Shout it out, Erika — sit with me silently or say I’m sorry you feel shitty. That’s it. Stop after that. Just STOP.

As you know, I am going through a very difficult adjustment to my grandchildren moving far away — the children I adore and helped raise. I am incredibly sad but I can’t show it. My husband does not deal well with my tears, fearing I am sinking in a deep depression. He just wants me to stop being sad. So, I do — on the outside.

Others want to gloss over my loss by reminding me of all the grandchildren, maybe theirs, who live somewhere else. Or, they tell me to plan a trip to visit. Or, remind me of video chats and all the modern options for communicating as if I live in a cave, unaware of technology.

I want to scream SHUT THE FUCK UP! But, I don’t because I am a kind person, because I worry about other people’s feelings more than mine, because I know they mean well and are trying to help. So, I thank them politely for their useless suggestions and unnecessary information and smile sweetly, pushing my sad feelings deeper because no one can handle that I am sad. No one but me. I have to because tomorrow is another day without them and I have to work and do chores and walk dogs and act like it’s all okay when it isn’t because people can’t or don’t want to handle inconvenient truths. And, sadness and depression are inconvenient truths.

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