Public Face, Private Face, Disaster Face

You know, sometimes you say and mean one thing, and someone reads it and hears quite another. It’s a downfall of the medium of the written word. People who know you well and talk to you everyday can often take your written words and understand exactly what you mean. Other people, either because they aren’t familiar with your writing style, or because they are bringing to the table a set of emotions that is overwhelming to them at the time, take an entirely different meaning.

It has come to my attention that some of my family members have read what I wrote about Granny’s death and taken an entirely different meaning than I intended. Part of that is my fault, for a couple of reasons. First, I had a very hard time writing that post. I cried most of the way through it, and while I am usually able to proofread a piece to ensure that I have been clear in it as a whole, this time I wasn’t able to do that. I proofread it one sentence at a time. Each sentence stands alone, and each sentence made sense and conveyed my thought, but I failed to make a paragraph break to delineate the facts of Granny’s death from my own personal feelings about the way I would choose to die, if I have a choice.

I want to make it perfectly plain to anyone who misunderstood that Granny wanted her family around her. She was ready to go HOME and she wanted those she loved around her when she went. And I am so very glad for her that my family members were able to give that to her. I know it took a great deal of strength and courage for each and every one of them to set themselves aside and give her what she wanted. There’s nothing ghoulish in giving a dying woman what she wants, and there is nothing ghoulish in wanting to die with those you love around you.

For myself, that’s not what I want. It’s the idea of my own death happening that way that I found repulsive.

The second part is wholly on me. I have mentioned that I have a public face and a private face. My private face is just that, private. I can count on one hand the number of people I allow to see it, and usually not one of them gets to know all I feel about any given thing until they read it here on this blog. Not one of those people is related to me in any way except love and friendship. My most private face is revealed only here, and I do that by pretending to myself that I am anonymous and no one reads this crappy ol’ blog anyway.

For the almost two weeks that Granny was in the hospital I wore the public face. No one there at the hospital knew that I was barely eating, drinking two pots of coffee and smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and crying myself to sleep on the nights that I slept at all. They didn’t know that because I didn’t let them know. It’s one of the few times that I regret not letting more of my private face show, because I think if I had shown more of how I really felt, my later words would have been less likely to be misunderstood.

One thought on “Public Face, Private Face, Disaster Face

  1. A very sincere post. I can understand how it feels to lose a loved one, everyone does but to turn that into inspiration is in itself inspiring to readers. Great post!

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