The Four Words I Hate 05 Jun
“He will be fine!”
Four words I hate. When my baby was diagnosed with hearing loss, I did not want to hear the word FINE.
Because, here’s the thing. In those early days—it was NOT fine. None of it.
I was scared.
I was sad.
I was overwhelmed.
I was in shock.
I was worried.
I was grieving.
The word fine felt so pacifying and heartless. In the days after learning of the hearing loss diagnosis, being told it would be fine felt like being told to “suck it up!”
Deep down, I am sure I knew my son would be fine. But, there were so many steps to take to get to that place. And what I longed for was validation and acknowledgment of the gravity of what this meant.
I wanted to be understood. I wanted my feelings to be accepted.
I didn’t want or need to hear he would be fine. Or told it could be worse; or God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, or at least he’s healthy.
In the beginning, I didn’t want to be told in a single breath that he would get hearing aids, possibly be a candidate for a cochlear implant, and probably go to mainstream high school…
Those statements made me feel ashamed to be experiencing grief. It made me feel embarrassed for feeling sad. It made me feel like I should just buck up.
In those early stages, what I needed was empathy and compassion. I needed time to digest. I needed to move through the process so I could come to a place of acceptance.
Why do I share this with you, friends?
Because most of us have been guilty of doing this.
Sometimes we are at a loss for words.
Sometimes we just want to make it better.
Sometimes we don’t know what to say.
Sometimes the truth is too painful, so we deny the heaviness.
Most people mean well. They do.
But saying it will be fine does not make it so.
Tell them you see and hear them.
Tell them you understand how hard this must be.
Tell them it sucks.
Tell them you love their child unconditionally.
Tell them you will be there for them.
Let them know you will be by their side to support and love them.
Then. And only then…
It will be fine.
Sara L. HannaPosted at 14:15h, 04 August
I, too, have heard the ‘it will be fine’ comments for years.
I am 74. I started wearing hearing
aids about 25 years ago. Today I wear a HA in my L ear and have a cochlear implant in my R ear. I can hear. ,
‘But you could hear before … ‘ ‘Why can’t you hear now?
What did YOU do that changed things?’ …
‘Can’t you just read lips …’
‘Why would you WANT to have a hole drilled in your head?!’ ….
‘Are you SURE you can’t hear?’
Or the very worst … ‘oh never mind …’
Yes. It WILL be fine but only because I’ve spent YEARS adapting to my situation, working so incredibly hard ‘just to hear …. ‘
Listening so carefully … trying to hear is exhausting, physically and emotionally and mentally.
I never understood that until my CI surgeon said “Well, OF COURSE you’re tired all the time!! Do you realize how hard you’re working every minute of every day ‘just to hear’ ????”
Only then did I allow myself the luxury of understanding and accepting what being profoundly deaf means …. My husband, who had worked in the field of acoustics for 50+ years, has a new appreciation for sound … what it means when you cannot hear …