serious as a heart attack…

My husband had a heart attack a few weeks ago. No, really. He did.

He’s 50 and deconditioned, his dad had one at 60 so it was on my radar somewhere but at least 10 years ahead on my radar, not the “day before Easter 2009” radar.

To say that it took me by surprise is an understatement. It was a battle that took me completely unarmed…

He’s fine now, you know, relatively speaking. He’s on a new diet, he has some great motivation to lose weight and get healthy and I trust that he knows he dodged a bullet. The damage to his heart was minimal thank God and he came home and re-entered real life after only a few days in the hospital. So we have that going for us.

Things come to me around this everyday now…some days I’m overwhelmed with the crazy of it, some days I’m just sad, some days I’m angry.

The thing that I wanted to put down to paper (so to speak) today though is this thought that I had.

A few years ago I had a rough time with a friend around the issue of her struggle with infertility. I thought that I knew what she “must be feeling” and although she told me repeatedly in probably 75 different well thought out ways that I couldn’t possibly understand because that was not my story I just didn’t hear her.

Thankfully, since then, I think (I HOPE) I have cultivated the grace and humility it takes to say that indeed there is no way I could possibly know what she was feeling at any given time. All I have is the ability to walk alongside and offer love in the in-between moments.

I say this because I’m starting to hear that phrase a lot now, “you MUST have been so scared…” “You MUST have felt this way or that way or blah blah….” and you know my response EVERY single time is that I’m angry.

I don’t know if that is what my friend felt when I used that phrase to her…I don’t know…I just know that when people assume that they know how I felt (or feel) going through this I feel very diminished in it all.

I guess what I’d LIKE to hear is more along the lines of “how are you feeling?” and “what was that like for you?” because to be honest, I didn’t feel sad or scared in the moment. I didn’t have that and for a number of people to tell me I MUST have felt that way I get confused….maybe I SHOULD have felt that…what’s wrong that I didn’t FEEL that?

Gah. crazy making in my brain.

So, sorry for the run on rant-o-rama…purging is good.

I suppose what I am most pleased about today is that realization that even the hard stuff I went through with my friend has merit to me now in this moment. It was a lucky little ‘a-ha’ to me and for that I am truly thankful.

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4 thoughts on “serious as a heart attack…

  1. I am probably guilty of using “must”, although I never stopped to consider how I was pushing feelings on someone else. It was just something I heard, and therefore, something I repeated.

    Reading your blog really makes me reconsider how I use language, and how I could use it better. Thank you.

    You MUST be so proud… 😉
    (I couldn’t resist.)

  2. My fifty-seven year old brother had been having severe chest pains with minimal exertion for a few months. He finally consulted his doctor last week and, after some urgent medical tests, it was discovered that he had 95 % blockage in one major artery. His cardiologist put in a stint in on Monday (two days ago) and now my brother is okay – thank God. There has been a wide range of reactions in the family with some criticizing others for not appearing more alarmed and concerned. I have, at times, served as referee.

    Your post is confirming and reassuring that feelings are neither right nor wrong – they just are. You also remind me that there is gracious vocabulary that is useful in soliciting feelings from others without prejudging. Thank you.

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