I’m Tired of Judging
With my last post being a eulogy for Carson, I thought about how I wanted to twist this one so it wouldn’t seem like the EE blog has turned into something morbid. Unfortunately, there’s just no good way to do that with this post.
In 1996, I had a senior high camper I’ll name Mindy. She was like 16 at the time. Since then, I’ve stayed in touch with Mindy, but only on the outskirts of a relationship. She was always more a friend of a friend.
On Sunday, I got word that Mindy died. She was only in her mid 30s. What caused such an early death? Alcoholism. Her liver just couldn’t handle the abuse.
In so many cases like Mindy’s, we shake our heads and say, “That’s just so sad.” And then, we move along with life. We all know that if someone doesn’t want to change, you can’t make them. And, it’s sad to see life extinguished at such an early age by one’s own hand.
This has made me think. When I hear of someone dying by their own decisions, I don’t want to judge, shake my head and say, “That’s so sad.” Instead, I want to feel empathy, not judgement or hopelessness. Like, what horrible things from Mindy’s past caused her to lose control? What was so tough in her life that she felt the need to numb herself to all reality? And, as with any time someone dies by their own hand, we’re all left wondering if anything else could have been done?
Maybe the goal isn’t to get someone sober. Maybe it shouldn’t be to try to get someone into rehab. Maybe our goal should just be to love people unconditionally, do our best and practice compassion, just by being present. I don’t know all the answers to what to do. I just know I’m tired of judging. I want empathy, not condemnation.