Verbiage. It’s a strange thing. But I believe it matters. The way we say things reveals our heart, what we truly believe. Matthew 12 :34 says, For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
That’s why I find it difficult these days to know what to say. I want to speak truth. I want my verbiage to match what I truly believe in my heart. But I am afraid if I do that people will think me strange. And while that has never bothered me before, much to my children’s chagrin, I do not want people to disregard what I am saying because it sounds like “crazy religious” talk. I can hear the whispers now, “Oh, she just says it that way because it makes her feel better.” But that’s not it at all! I want to speak truth, the whole truth, and the truth that reflects the reality of the situation.
When people ask about Grant, it feels strange to say, “when Grant died.” Not because I am in denial. Not because it’s too painful. But because the right verbiage is important. Saying “the day Grant went home” or “the day he entered into the Kingdom of God” is a more accurate statement. It is the truth. It bears hope and there is future in those words. Die, is an end, sounds final. Like its the last word. It’s not an accurate picture of what happened. But if I talk that way people are going to think I am the crazy lady. Oh, her…yeah, she’s a little off on the count that she lost her son.
Here are some more recent examples; questions and conversation that were once effortless are now so perplexing…
While making reservations recently, a stranger asked me if all of our kids would be home for Christmas. My answer, “One is already home, the other 3 will be with us.” I could feel their brow furrow thru the phone as they tried to figure out what I meant.
How many kids do you have. What should my answer be? Obviously, I have 4 kids. But what they are really asking is, “how many kids do you have here.” So is my answer 3? Obviously not…I can’t say that, so I say 4. And then the inevitable happens…a follow up question. Oh, wonderful, what are their ages?” Again, I am perplexed as to what I should say. Do I tell them how old Grant would have been? Do I just tell them we had a son that died when he was 24?
Or what about this one, “Are your children still living at home, or are you empty-nesters?” My answer…”One’s already home with his Heavenly Father, one’s in Florida, and two still live with us.”
In the future, do I say, “May 5th is the anniversary of Grant’s death.” Or rather, “May 5th is the anniversary of his homecoming.” Or do I say, Grant died “x” number of years ago on May 5th? I think you know by now what I want to say.
I want to speak truth, but I don’t want to make people feel awkward, sorry they asked. So if anyone has walked this road before me, and you have good answers to these questions, and all of the questions coming up, please pass them along. Or I may just get tagged the crazy religious lady, which really, may not be so bad.