When Mom was in the hospital our motto and running gag was "Don't judge me."
"Can I bring you back something to drink?" "Yes, I want tea with six sugars and a really lot of cream. Don't judge me."
"I've been wearing these pants for three days. Don't judge me."
"My daughter hasn't had a bath in five days. Don't judge me."
"All I've eaten today is french fries. Don't judge me.
In the last few days we had with her we made an awful, terrible, painful choice. It was my job/choice to explain the decision to everyone. Every time and to every person, running beneath the surface was a huge "Don't judge me."
In grief we often say and do terrible things to the people who love us. Later on after the storm has passed we regret the damage we've done. Sometimes it's too late. I was losing my mother I couldn't bear whispers of "They just let her die." or worse "They killed her."
It is the end of the year today. In many places the New Year has already begun. All around people are making resolutions. To Eat better or exercise more. To clean house, organise, prioritise, do more, do less. Striving to make up for their shortcomings and failures wanting to be better.
I try not make resolutions.
I try not to look back harshly on myself.
But I do.
And it's been a really, really bad year in many ways. Jacob being ill and Mom dying were bitter icing on a crap cake.
Things will get better and things will get worse.
But this year I am making a resolution to follow my motto. "Don't judge me." I'm going to do my best to remember that everyone has their own pain, their own motivation, their own set of values. They may be very different from mine but that doesn't make them less valid. So I will do my best to judge less and empathise more.
Don't judge me and I won't judge you either.
Happy New Year.