Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Atticus Finch Says ...

I recently received an e-mail from my uncle. He is a retired English teacher, so his e-mails are always formal and you can just HEAR a teacher's voice when you read them. But this was even more stiff and formal.

The e-mail informed me that one of his children, one of my cousins, has just received a final divorce decree. I didn't know the cousin was getting divorced until December, when another family member told me.  When my uncle heard that the family member had told me, he was incensed and hostile towards the family member, and then called me to warn me that this was PRIVATE and NO ONE'S BUSINESS and that I was not to pass it on.

Okay, fine.  I think his instinct to protect his child's privacy is a little over the top, but I respected his position. I didn't tell anyone else in the family -- not that any one else would have cared.

So, I have to say this thing has been weird all along.  But this is one of the paragraphs in the e-mail he sent:

This has been an arduous process for [cousin's name], and we continue to champion all of [cousin's name]'s decisions related to these events.  Above all, we remain steadfast in respecting [cousin's name]'s privacy on this matter and the decisions [cousin's name] might make about sharing any particulars with us or other family members.  

It sounds to me like the cousin was afraid of what everyone might think -- including the parents.  What I find so heartbreaking is that IF we had known, we would have been able to pray, encourage the cousin, and be loving.

I believe in what the great philosopher Atticus Finch said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

I would never have condemned, judged or maligned my cousin. I would have asked, "how can I help you?"

Sad. Very Sad.


The Bug said...

What's most sad is that your cousin's parents apparently feel EXACTLY like they're all afraid you'll feel. I don't know you in real life, but at least here in blogland I see you as a person of prayer & faith - & I'd want you to be praying & having faith if I had some difficulty.

Mary said...

You would think that you would want family members there to help out. If you can't trust your family, who can you trust?