Morbid tinted glasses

This post has a bit of a dark side. We all know the term “rose tinted glasses.” Seeing the world through a rosy, happy glow. We have this innate ability as children, as young adults without a care in the world. As long as we are untouched by sorrow.

I was thinking about perspective the other night. I was online late in the evening. I came across a post by a friend of mine. Actually, she is my friends mother. A man I have known since grade school. He was recently brutally murdered. His mother, she had posted that she was struggling. She was missing her son. I reached out to her (this is my calling, as an SBD, as well as my duty as a friend!) I called her, and I could feel the pain in her voice. She lives 3000km away from me, but I could absolutely feel her sorrow. All I did, was listen. She just needed to talk.

During the conversation, she mentioned that she had a disagreement with her surviving son in the weeks after her youngest sons death. It was a matter of perspective. He had done something in remembrance of his brother, (I won’t say what it was, out of respect for her privacy) which she was shocked at. She felt like his tribute to his brother was a morbid gesture, while he thought it was beautiful. And she asked me why…. why didn’t she see the lightness of his gesture, the way that he saw it?

I have thought about this question… this question has plagued me since my own journey with grief began. Why is everything so dark!!?? And I was honest with her. I told her that she will see beauty again, she will recognize it. But that in my experience with being a bereaved parent, my “new normal” was that perspectives change. Things seem to be “morbidly tinted.” A bereaved parent will always have this morbid tint to their perspective on life… We can laugh, love, enjoy life, but our perspective has changed.

We are people who know that ugly things do happen in the world. We cannot hide behind misconceptions such as bad things do not happen to good people, or innocent children. We are people who have experienced the dark side of human emotion. And unfortunately we are people who do not easily forget the darkness. We can rejoice in the lighter side of life. We can rejoice in the light and love that came from our deceased children. But once we have lost that piece of ourselves, we will see things through a slightly darker tint.

I wish I had come to terms with this early on in my grief. It would have saved me a lot of time spent wondering what is wrong with me, why am I so dreary? Why did I see that differently than how everyone around me saw it? Now I know that nothing is wrong with me, I am not strange or morbid. I am a woman who has a slightly different perspective. And there is an entire community of bereaved parents around the world who can see through the same shade of tinted glasses.