I work very hard to not criticize others in any way – not their decisions, their motivations, or even their whining about other people.  However, I think that sometimes it needs to be said:

Unless you have walked in someone’s shoes, you cannot possibly understand their path.

Over the last 23 months, I have made many decisions that I am sure lots of people do not agree with; I am clearly aware of a few of them, and I had to work hard to not let those that deemed me “wrong” for those decisions, make me sad.  I was already sad enough, and I did not need to have others making me feel bad about how I was trying to survive.

I watch others trying to survive after major life traumas, and I understand how on the outside, decisions they make can look odd, not thought out, or just plain wrong.  But we are not living in their shoes, we are not feeling the pain in their heart, we are not walking their path.  People make decision based on what they can do in that moment, and if for some reason it may not be the best decision, sometimes we are just happy that we can make any decision.

Hold the hand of a loved one for just a minute – your spouse, your child, your best friend.  Someone you cannot live without; someone that holds your heart.  Close your eyes, and feel that heart beat, feel that warmth, the touch, the power that holding a hand can have.

It is amazing what a touch can do.

Now, take it away.  Walk away.

Imagine that touch gone forever – never to be had again.  Or the touch is there, but the individual no longer is connected to you, and just like that, there is no more power behind that touch.

There is pain in that removal, especially when it is swift, with no goodbye, no preparation, no reason.

How do you go on with the day-to-day decisions?  Who is there to talk to, to help, to make those decisions with you?

Right now, there is someone near you making those decisions alone.  And although they may not the some would call the best decisions, sometimes the triumph is making them at all.

So many of us in this world are making decisions for what we think it right – we do what we think is best, at the time, for those that we love that are still with us.  We do what we can, to survive.  We do what we need to do, to survive.

Before you judge, remember, there is pain in those living without that hand to hold.  Decision can be made, and they can be changed.  But sometimes, a decision is all that person has – and they need to make it with support, not criticism.

Lisabeth Mackall is now stepping off her soapbox.

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