It’s so easy to say something with the best of intentions, and having it come out all wrong. I get that. I’ve done it myself actually more than once. But this whole “lost their battle” thing irks me so much, that I feel compelled to write about it in my post. Just gotta do it. So I’ll say this now while the pain of loss isn’t radiating, and it hopefully it won’t be seen as an attack on those who mean well, but rather as a constructive thought:
No one “loses their battle” and no one should be reduced to having lived only that part of their lives in the paragraphs, headlines, and memorials that mark their passing. That is how I feel, very strongly. It might be an easy expression, but it is a wrong one. It neglects all the possible ways a person might have lived a beautiful, full, impacting life. And if they only get that little paragraph of remembrance, should we not be celebrating their triumphs, rather than marking them as losers?
When it comes to illness, no one loses. A person may simply get dealt a shitty hand, and despite best efforts, life will take its course. I am tired of reading about all these lost battles.
And when it comes to being remembered in the media, we are not “Cancer Bloggers, Cancer Kids, Cancer Patients, Cancer Truckers, Cancer Waitresses, Cancer Artists, Cancer Models . . .” Just because it’s an easy headline doesn’t mean it isn’t totally degrading to the beautiful legacy that person left behind.
But how do you correct people? Can I tap someone on the shoulder while they post a memorial and say, “um, excuse me, I’m about to be an annoying pain to your already heartbroken self?” No, it’s just bad timing and disrespectful.
So it’s to be said now, at least here, and by one voice to add to others who have written about this: While those left behind may feel that deep, throbbing loss of a loved one, the life lived is far more valuable than a famililar but unconsidered add-on sentiment.
And that is all I have to say about that. For now.