Welcome to Hell

by Bill Brenner on January 3, 2010

OK, not my own personal hell. I’ve already gone on at length about that, and while I have my good days and bad days like everyone else, I think it’s safe to say that I found my way out of my personal Hell a long time ago.

But when I see other people going through theirs, it still hits me. Some of it is the old fear of loss I mentioned earlier. Some of it is that when I see someone else going through grief, pain and depression, my own bad memories bubble to the surface.

I feel like an idiot when this happens, truth be told. It’s a typical reaction for someone who gets self-absorbed, which is one of the basic ingredients for someone with OCD.

At the end of the day, it’s important that I take a step back and let others do the talking (or writing, in this case).

In that spirit, I direct you again toward the blog “Penny Writes … Penny Remembers.”

As I mentioned earlier, Penny and her husband Dave recently suffered the worst possible variety of tragedy: the loss of a child.

I used to work with Penny at The Eagle-Tribune. I’m sure I was no joy to work with. I even remember calling her house late one night with a question on a story she wrote. Dave answered the phone, and while I don’t remember exactly what he said, I remember he was not happy. I don’t blame him. Night editors can be as irritating as any blood-sucking insect.

We didn’t work together long. She left for another job about a year after I started working there. We connected on LinkedIn and Facebook, but never really communicated much beyond that.

That was more my loss than hers.

I’ve had a few communications with her since the death of her daughter, though I probably have no business bothering her. I wasn’t much of a friend before this. Wasn’t really a friend at all. Isn’t it funny how everyone wants to be your friend when you go through something terrible, though most go back to their own lives after the wake and funeral.

The point of all this is that she is writing vivid accounts of what she is going through in her blog, and it’s something you all should be reading.

There are important lessons in there on what to say and WHAT NOT TO SAY to someone who is in the middle of Hell.

Leave my blog now and go see what she has to say.

I can’t possibly say it better than she does. Because I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO COMPREHENSION of what she is going though.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Penny January 3, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Ah… who knows what it is. Maybe I’m saving someone from saying someting horrible. I can’t ghelp but rememebr the horribel things people have said when they thought they were being kind. It’s what I’m doing these days, watching out for everyone else and not taking care of my own head. It’s such a hard place to be living. I can’t wait for some sunshine, although without her it will be artificial.

Thanks for caring. Seriously. It means more than you know.

Penny January 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm

And I’m happy we’re back in contact. Don’t sell yourself short.

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