Leave It Unsaid

I am the first one to say that I believe in the power of saying thank you. I say thank you for everything. I say thank you to the people who bag my groceries at the supermarket, I say thank you to the clerk, I say thank you and show appreciation to most anyone that provides a service or anyone who has taken the time to think of me for any reason. Thank you’s are powerful and necessary, except in one case, funerals.

When my mother passed a few years back, of course it was the worst and most terrible time of my life. I was literally feeling my way through the days by small moments at a time…second after second. Of course, there was planning, family drama, more planning and after the service and dinner all that I was left with was the absence of my mother. I was surrounded by her things, the sweet smell of her night gown, flowers, food but the one thing that I wanted more than anything was my Momma and sadly that would never be again on this side of Heaven. A relative kept pressing me to get thank you notes sent out to people who had sent flowers and food, but I could not wrap my head around sitting down and thanking people for being there for something that I did not even want to happen. I was expected to send out notes to thank people for something that I had not even fully processed yet. I tried the first week, I tried again the second week, I tried again and again, and eventually the timing just seemed to be off after a while.

I had heard that some people had expressed their displeasure in not receiving a thank you from the family, but here is what I have to say to that….I am sorry. My lack of expressing a thank you does not represent any type of ingratitude for the sentiments that you expressed during such a horrible time of grief. The pressure to do one more thing was overwhelming and while I can do a lot of things, I could not pull that one final act out of the hat. I will also say if someone is waiting to be thanked, then they also need to check their own hearts and their intentions in giving and doing what they did.

In terms of birthdays, weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, anniversaries….I think that the etiquette of extending a thank you should be upheld. The only thing that should be expected for people who are reeling from loss and grief is that they wake up and put one foot in front of the other, that’s it. The etiquette of an unsaid thank you should be enough for a heart that is breaking.