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Wellness

What Shouldn’t We Say That About Someone We Love?

A good friend of mine recently lost someone dear in her youth but that has never stopped her from keeping in touch with her children, helping run a local animal shelter in her spare time, and taking advantage of the opportunity presented by her husband’s impending retirement.

She’s a person I love very much, who is, of course, not really dead. A recent study, published in the Journal of Social Issues, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, confirms the wisdom of this common assertion, and offers some important insight into those who have lost loved ones. In the study published in the Journal of Social Issues in January, authors Timothy Gershoff and Robert Mallet found that women who had lost a child in her family, and who were also widowed, reported feeling less than happy about their loss. On the flip side, women who had only lost a spouse, not a child, didn’t perceive themselves in any way differently or less favorably than if they’d lost another parent. And the reason lies in one of those things that makes up a family. When two of the same-sex couples in the study got pregnant and brought children to one another, those same researchers who were trying to get a better handle on what it would mean to bring someone into the world of same-sex parenting noted that the mothers felt more satisfied about being mothers than about being parents of a baby they’d never met. “Having a child who was not only biologically related to you but who was biologically biologically related to your first child,” as one researcher put it. “That seemed to be as far as that went.”

I feel that every human, no matter their sexual orientation, deserves the respect of the human being. And that person, however long ago their last sexual experience was, deserves to be remembered as they were. I can’t say that I would take any of our loved ones for granted. I’m always on the lookout for any reason for them to be unhappy or to be sad. I try not to take it personally when I can’t help feeling those feelings and the sadness they evoke. After all, no one needs to lose a loved one to have to be sad. I know from experience, too, that I have friends who lost a grandparent who had passed away a few years before they joined me in this world. Some of them were quite happy about it, others not so much. I just try not to make them feel worse than I already do. It’s easier said than done. They’re living lives after all! I know I have to fight myself into better moods and to make sure they’re happy. It’s their loss and they have the right to be grateful. That’s why I’ve been writing this blog and that’s why I’ve been talking about it. When I’m not busy telling people what I learned recently about grieving parents, I’m talking about my grandparents about my mother who gave birth to me from a one-night stand when I was 18. That makes people go “wow, your mom has such a big heart”. When I was 18 and living with my mother I was having trouble with my boyfriend. I knew that I had to go to an abortion clinic. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to get one that night. My mother told me that it was ok to be scared. She told me I could tell her what was wrong and that she was already planning a funeral for me if it came to that. I knew I had to go. But I wasn’t ready to deal with abortion. I still didn’t know what to do. I knew my mother knew what to do. She could have aborted me then and there if she didn’t want me to live in the world at 18. That was what she told me. I know she’d do this for anyone. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that if I had been a teenager back then, I would have done the same thing without question. But that’s not what my mother wanted. She told me it was okay to be nervous and that she would just be there for me if anything came up. I still remember telling her that I would never be able to thank her enough. I would also never be able to thank my mother enough.

When I was 21 and started dating, I met my girlfriend’s sister. I was not at all prepared for the intensity it would take for her to understand my feelings for her. I had always imagined the person I dated as being a friend who would show me around town, buy me anything I like or give me a tour of the city and then leave me alone to do whatever I wanted to do for the rest of the day. The more I thought about it, though, I realized he had no clue what I was feeling.