SpouseBUZZ received an interesting email this week, which reminded me of something we've discussed many times here at SpouseBUZZ.As Sarah says, "One person's weird is another person's normal." Our lives are rarely in sync. At any given time, we're in varying stages of life; just entering military spousedom, no deployment on the horizon, pre-deployment, deployment, post-deployment, approaching service separation, etc. I think we often react to issues based on where we are in our personal lives. Something that bothers me may not bother you. Something that bothers me now may not bother me a year from now.
Reader M emails:
I was wondering if other wives have the same trouble - well meaning family members who find it necessary to send forwarding chain emails showing soldiers and their families - usually they are "prayer" type emails but always soldiers in various stages of war and/or leaving families with kids/wives crying, and/or families/soldiers grieving for each other etc. I'm sure you've seen these. My inbox has been filling up lately and I"m pretty sure that soon the Christmas soldier emails will start arriving.
I'm wondering if anyone but me HATES these things?? For one, I hardly need to be reminded of the sacrifices our soldiers make - I live it every day with a husband going over seas soon for deployment #2 and with young children at home. I don't need to see pictures of children holding a flag that presumably just came from their father's coffin. I don't need to see soldiers kneeling next to the helmet of a dead comrade. Plus - I can't help but think..these pictures are of someone's child/father/brother/son/husband. They're not just any old photo.
Does anyone have suggestions on how to tell your families how insensitive this practice really is????
I'm pretty sure M is not the only one who feels this way..... My advice would be to tell the family politely that you appreciate the sentiment, but you'd rather not see these types of images. We often run into situations where friends and family mean well but really have no idea what we may be experiencing and how words, photos, etc may affect us.
What's your advice?