Hitting Below The Belt

Suppose - and this is very painful for any parent to do - that your child has just been killed in a terrible accident. Do you know how you would react? Thankfully, most of us don't. The classic Kubler-Ross model has five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Some people move through these quickly, others take more time. Sometimes people grieve in different, private ways that no one else understands.

Sometimes people in grief don't make sense. They get angry for no logical reason and look for someone to blame. They say things they don't really mean. Should we hold this against them? I think most people would say no.

I bring up all this because of a recent incident in Texas where a 13-year-old boy drowned in raging floodwaters despite attempts by emergency workers to rescue him. The boy's father criticized the rescuers, saying they killed his boy. In fact they did everything they could, exactly as they were trained, and at the risk of their own lives. It simply wasn't enough.

So how do we react? Personally, I would give any father in such a situation a lot of latitude. He's going through hell and not thinking clearly. I don't expect him to see things from the rescuer's point of view. He just wants his boy back. He is surely blaming himself as well. This maelstrom of emotions will subside eventually, but for now I don't think it is fair to hold anything he says against him.

Some people disagree, and even chose to go on the attack against the father on their blogs. This strikes me as a pretty heartless reaction, but it's par for the course with Texas Fred. He goes off half-cocked and says things he probably regrets, but then is afraid to admit he was wrong.

Speaking of Texas Fred, he is also annoyed because some people call him a racist based on his affinity for Confederate flags. I have no idea if he is a racist or not, and he correctly notes that he has every right to display whatever symbols he wishes on his blog. However, in the post he never denies being a racist, which I think is the first thing most people would do when so accused. I'm not sure what to make of that. I hope it isn't true because he says a lot of good things on other subjects.

1 comment:

Donald Douglas said...

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Thank you and have a great day!