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The Four Words I Hate

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“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.

Written by My Battle Call by Valli Gideons

This piece originally published here:

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