CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "Get over it." "You've gotta get on with your life." "It's time to move on."
You've probably heard one of these phrases at some point from a well-intentioned friend or relative. Maybe it had to do with something small, or maybe it came after a life-changing event.
And then there's the advice:
"OK, feel sorry for yourself for 10 minutes, then get up and go."
"Stop wallowing in self pity."
"Dust yourself off."
"Buck up, little camper!"
What qualifies someone else, though, to know the right time for you to move on? Especially with life-changing events. Friends losing parents. Siblings losing siblings. And, perhaps, the hardest of all -- parents losing children.
I'd like to dedicate this column to just a few of those families going through that last scenario: the Steelhammer and Hughes families, Charley "Jupiter" Hamilton, the Bullas, Hills, Georges, Shumans, Hahns, Ledbetters, Jones and Arnold/Hopkins families -- and so many others. As my good buddy Pam Steelhammer has said, "It's a club you never want to be a member of."
This was reinforced when I picked up the book "Resilience" by Elizabeth Edwards, lawyer, mother and wife of the former presidential candidate. The book focuses on much more than her husband's transgressions. The first hundred pages center on the loss of her teenage son, Wade. I was blown away by the way she described the depths of the loss, and her attempts to eventually learn to put one foot in front of the other.
This column's title came from a section where she described how ludicrous it was for others to assume she would get over the loss in due time. As she explained, you wouldn't ask someone who had a leg amputated, "Are you over it?" You'd ask, "How are you adapting?" or "How are you getting along?"