As many of you may have seen recently, a young girl in a bomb shelter in Ukraine has caught the attention of millions of people around the world for singing a song from the Disney movie “Frozen.” What an amazing thing to watch. It really puts a face to the Ukraine people and what they are going through. My heart just aches for them.
The writer of the song, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and the actress who sang the song in the original movie, Idina Menzel, responded to the young singer. Kristen Anderson-Lopez wrote, “My husband and I wrote this song as part of a story about healing a family in pain. The way you sing it is like a magic trick that spreads the light in your heart and heals everyone who hears it. Keep singing! We are listening!” Idina Menzel wrote, “We see you. We really, really see you.” This just really struck a chord with me.
Now, I’m not equating the loss of a child with what the people are going through in Ukraine. Not by a long, long shot. They are entirely very different situations. But, it crossed my mind that there is a lesson that can be learned from this particular exchange that can apply to the loss of a child and many more traumatic situations in everyday life. It’s about acknowledging that person and their loss or the circumstances of the trauma. It’s saying in some way, “I see you and I care what you are going through.”
A bereaved parent doesn’t want advice. It’s not about the words you say. They want someone to see them, someone to acknowledge what they are going through, they want someone to care. They want someone to remember, to acknowledge the tough days without prompting, to see the unspoken pain and unshed tears.
They want someone – either by their presence or spoke words – to say, “I see you. I really, really see you. I care.”
© 2022 Rebecca R. Carney