“I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to burden you.”
Few phrases have the power to push me off the cliff like this one. It’s not good from anyone, but it becomes intolerable for me from intimate family, friends, and partners.
Let’s start with the idea that if there is love between two people, that communicating about life’s downs as well as ups is ever a problem. Life is not all about good news and confetti parties, and it is in the moments when that reality is crystal clear that we most need to share and support one another. There is no obligation to share necessarily, but if you choose not to, it seems rather weak to claim you are staying private because you think someone who loves you can’t manage it.
There are also all the things people don’t know about the consequences of “protecting” loved ones from “burden.” Choices were made about a year ago to not contact me when my husband had been in a serious car accident. I was on an airplane, and those involved thought it was a “burden” to let me know ASAP what had happened, that it could wait until I was on the ground and see that he was safe.
What those who made this choice didn’t understand is that with those I love, in the moment I am very connected. There is strength in that connection, and power, and trying to mitigate that in any way is not a good idea.
I had a post earlier about Papa Bear. I leave you simply with the correlative point: Don’t mess with Mama Bear, either.
Photo credit: Josh Ackerman