I have a sensitivity to pictures of car crashes. I think that it’s horrible that news websites post these kinds of pictures on their websites and their social media sites. I’m very vocal about how difficult these pictures are for family members and loved ones of the victims to see. I’m forever asking some news site or another to consider the feelings of those near and dear to the victims and to take down the picture. Sadly they never do.
My comments often start interesting discussions with others about how they agree that the pictures are hurtful and serve no purpose. There are discussions with others who think that I’m too sensitive and should just “not look” at the pictures.
Today was one of those days. There was a fatal accident in the little town where Prince Charming and I grew up. The local newspaper posted a picture of the car involved but said they wouldn’t identify the victims pending “notification of the next of kin.”
I posted my usual comment requesting that the picture be taken down. I explained about Prince Charming’s accident and explained how thankful that the local news agencies where he died did not publish any pictures of his accident. I asked that these grieving families be given the same consideration.
Let’s just say a discussion ensued . . . some people agreed with me . . . some people did not. One young lady commented suggested that I “put on big girl panties” . . .
Oh honey you do not want to go down that path with me. Not after I’ve suffered through the third Christmas without Prince Charming by my side. Not when the anniversary of Prince Charming’s death is a mere two weeks away. Oh hell to the no . . .
I wanted to say all of the things that you will read next but I remembered something I read about not arguing with idiots because they bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. This is what I wanted to say but didn’t because the person in question is very young, has no life experience, and has no idea what she’s talking about . . .
Dear Young Lady . . .
I put on big girl panties . . . when two troopers came to where I work and told me that the man I loved more than anything else in this world (and had loved for almost 40 years) was dead.
I put on big girl panties . . . when I had to tell his son, his brother, and his mother that he had been killed.
I put on big girl panties . . . when I had to try to explain to our two dogs why Daddy wasn’t ever coming home again.
I put on big girl panties . . . when I had to make arrangements for his funeral . . . and I had no idea what type of service he wanted.
I put on big girl panties . . . when I dealt with the vile, evil, hurtful things that his ex-wife and her daughter thought I “needed to know” about the “perfect man” that had been dead less than 24 hours.
I put on big girl panties . . . when I stood next to his closed casket for three hours while the seemingly never ending line of mourners told me how sorry they were for my loss, how wonderful he had been to them, how sad they were that they would never hear his laugh or see his smile again
I put on big girl panties . . . when I stood at the side of his grave and realized I had to let them put his body in the cold ground. And I had to walk away and start a new life without him.
I put on big girl panties . . . when I dealt with OSHA, a wrongful death claim, a criminal case against the man that killed him, and settling his estate . . . all at the same time.
I put on big girl panties . . . every day single day that I have to live without him.
In the big scheme of things, a picture on a website probably isn’t that big of a deal. But to a grieving person it is a huge deal. It’s a reminder of what you’ve lost. It’s a reminder of how much your life changed, through no fault of your own, in the blink of an eye.
And, sadly, there are more than a few people who don’t understand that. They won’t understand that until they go through it themselves. And we, the grieving, pray daily that nobody ever has to join this club that no one wants to be a part of.