Truth Be Told

Recently there was an article in the Los Angeles Times about a family caught up in a very emotional and tragic situation.  While giving birth to triplets, the mother suffered a stroke which left her in a vegetative state with little or no chance for full recovery.

It was reported, however,  that she had the capacity to answer questions by blinking her eyes.  Now divorced, the father has decided that it would be too upsetting to let the children see their mother who is in the care of her own parents.  The mother has indicated by blinking that she wants to see her children and her parents are trying to carry out the wishes of their daughter.  The situation is now headed for the court.


I wrote the following to the Times and it appeared in the Letters To The Editors, though my comments were directed to the husband.


“I felt so sad reading about your family tragedy and the high conflict situation that has developed between you and your former in-laws.  There are so many well intentioned parents in this story, yet the children, the ones that really matter, are not benefiting from the love.  These kids have already been impacted by this event and I see it going downhill from here given the combative role that the lawyers and courts often play.  The truth is nearly always the best way to handle things.  Children do well with tragic events when the adults around them help them make sense of their feelings.  If, upon seeing their mom, your triplets experience upset and guilt around the outcome of their birthing, then deal with that.  Help them understand that bad and unfair things happen in life, that blaming does not make anything better. It might be difficult to see their mom in tough shape but that you can all get through it together. Though we wish we could just cut out uncomfortable feelings and experiences in life, it is more productive in the long run to walk right through them.  At any age. If you can handle it, they can handle it.”


It is always interesting to examine our own lives to find secrets that we have kept because we are trying to avoid uncomfortable feelings only to find that we end up suffering in a different way.