Monday, November 9, 2009

Do You Want to Hear It

Bad news. Do you want to hear it as it happens or learn about it after more information is available?

My sister and I had this discussion this morning. She prefers to tell bad news until more is known. I want to know immediately. She wants to protect. I want to make my own choices.

Bad things happen to good people. The wave ripples across friends and family. When there were family concerns, I didn't always receive information right away. Everyone protected me. Being far away, it gave me ill-at-ease feelings knowing that something might happen and my choice of staying home or hopping onto a plane back to Ohio might be taken away from me. No, I didn't have a lot of money to hop on that plane, but I wanted the choice to be mine.

Even though I feel this way, I know that my family has always done what they could to protect me. Maybe part of it is the age difference with my sisters being like second mothers to me. Maybe it is that part of us that wants things to be better before we pass on the news. We protect our families.

For me, nature says, "protect". Yet in my heart, I know that maybe this isn't protection just postponement. I have always had a strong need for facts. I did not grow up being allowed to have many choices. Thus the teen rebel.

I do not want this for my family and children. Many times I've had to impart difficult information. Divorce, death, moves all made for awkward conversations. The preparation, the zinger, the loving care. Immediately questions could be answered, sharing could take place and together we moved forward.

Hopefully, by being open and honest with my family, they will be the same with me. We are family learning to be strong together.

Yes, I want to hear the news, be informed and make my choices.


  1. I want to hear bad new right away, too. What's hard is making that decision for others. I just got the call yesterday from my aunt, my father's sister. She got bad news from the doctor. Do I tell my dad, who is 93? If the news is as bad as it seems to be, he will have to know. So tomorrow my sister and I will go to his house and tell him. But it's never easy to make that call.

  2. Susan, I know it is difficult. At 93, he is always ready for bad news. At least he can give his thoughts to his sister and be close to her now. My heart goes out to you. It is not an easy call, but you are doing the right thing.

    Thank you for your comments. Nice to talk to someone who seems to have lived a life very similar to mine. Sisters of the blog.