by Jill Francis on October 13th, 2016

Recently, a sweet young friend of mine suffered a miscarriage and days later she continued to have complications and knew something wasn't right.  Several trips to the doctor failed to uncover anything and she was simply told, "this is all part of the process, it just takes time".  She was unconvinced.  Excruciating pain and two trips to the ER over the course of two months and she was still told, "this is all part of the process".  Finally, a new physician listened to her, examined her, performed surgery on her the following day and told her she was lucky to be alive and that she "looked like a bomb had exploded" inside her.

Although my friend is grieving the loss of the babies (yes, there were two), and although she was suffering physically, the hardest part of the experience has been the fact that her medical providers would not and did not hear her.  The very people who were supposed to provide help and healing simply dismissed her...her pain, her loss, her voice.  She.  Was.  Dismissed.

Her experience has caused me to spend some time reflecting upon my own insensitivities, my own deafness.  How many times have I dismissed someone because I consider their pain to be minimal?  How often do I play the "my pain is greater than your pain" game to myself?  How often do I fail to listen?  Do I disregard someone's voice?  Do I tell them, "this is all part of the process"?  How often do I dismiss?  And why?

Am I too lazy to listen?  Too selfish to be inconvenienced?  Too busy?  Really?  For a cup of coffee with a friend?  Or am I afraid....that her pain really will be greater than mine and I might have to quit wallowing?  Am I afraid of being vulnerable to her pain?  Afraid her story might open  an old wound in me?  Afraid I might have to become involved in her pain and expose some of my own?  Am I afraid walls I have built to protect my heart might be pierced?  Am I afraid it will cost me something to hear her story, to share her pain?  Am I afraid to be exposed as a fraud?  As someone without wisdom?  Without answers?   Why do I dismiss?

It is my hope going forward that my friend's painful dismissal by those who were supposed to care for her will be an alarm resounding in my heart should I do the same.  I hope it is an alarm you decide to set as well.  


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