You Don’t Get to Decide

In response to one of my Facebook posts about the increasing number of hate crimes committed since Trump’s electoral college win of the election:

I obscured the friend’s name to protect her privacy. I’ve known her since kindergarten and we’ve managed to remain friends even though we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

The thing is, I’ve gotten several comments like this, and my first thought is, how dare they?

I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone to get over something they’re feeling intensely. Maybe I’ve thought the words, but I would never presume to tell them that they don’t have the right to grieve or to feel something.

After my mother’s funeral, after everyone except my dad, my brothers and their wives, along with my husband and I had left the church Daddy pulled us all together in a massive hug and told us he loved us. As we all sobbed he reminded us to always tell our spouses that we loved them. We took a private moment to grieve as a family.

Later I received pointed criticism from someone outside my immediate family. Apparently it was inexcusable that we’d kept everyone waiting for a few extra minutes. You know what? Screw them. 

That time was a part of our grieving and part of the way we found the strength to move on. My family doesn’t always speak about its deepest feelings, and to have denied my dad that moment with us would have been a terrible mistake. 

No one gets to decide how I grieve. No one. Not a Facebook friend, not a family member, not a co-worker, not a smug acquaintance. I’ll be ok, but today, I’m still grieving. So back off. Seriously.

Peace? Yes, peace, people.