Thursday, March 3, 2011

Masks-we all wear them

Someone I interviewed for my book said that she wore a mask to work. On the outside she looks like the woman they all knew before her child's death. She has the same hair, same smile, same eyes and same face.

But that mask is still a mask.

Why does she wear a mask? Why do any of us wear a mask? Mainly it is because so many people just want the old person back. The person before our life was shredded into pieces and thrown all over the place. We wear a mask for other people, so they are comfortable with us. We wear this mask so they don't have to see the pain that they absolutely do not want to see!

If people look deep enough though they can see beyond the mask. Sometimes our mask isn't strong enough to keep the emotion and pain away from the surface. Somedays people can see through it. What do these people do when they see our mask falling away? A few will stand by us when the mask is off but many will turn their eyes and look away.

Oddly enough I remember while I was at the hospital cafeteria after DJ's accident that the staff wore masks as well. I was getting food for my youngest son Jake to eat and the staff could see my pain but they wore their masks very strongly. There was no knowing what they were thinking when they saw me walking toward them. They wore their masks like professional actors.

My realization is that anyone dealing with grief, loss, pain, trauma, tragedy and death must wear a mask at some time. We the grieving parents have a mask we take on and off depending on the situation. Those people that work in the medical field wear masks too.

Life is tough, we all wear masks don't we? What is your mask hiding? My mask is hiding my pain from you. I don't think our world is strong enough for us to all take off our masks. There is too much pain in the world, I think our masks must stay on.

My book Flowers on A Child's Grave, Now What? is available online at in ebook and paperback form--you can read about this woman's mask and that of many others.

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