There is a Norwegian word – uheldig (silent “g”), meaning unlucky or unfortunate.
When I have called into work the past couple of days to inform people that I am staying home with my sick child/children (yes, today, hmm, yes you guessed it harhar, they’re puking all over us again) or if I bumped into someone I know on the street, people insist on pointing out that we’ve been rather unfortunate , “uheldig” with the childrens health.
No. We are not “uheldig“. No denying that our offspring are germ magnets. They fall ill, get the necessary medication and poof! before you know it, they’re throwing their spaghetti at the ceiling and sassing us. Thats not unfortunate. At worst, its an inconvenience.
What is the deal with the alarmingly low thresholds for using words like unlucky and unfortunate? Shouldn’t that require a greater stretch?
“Uheldig” would be losing them.
Never seeing their gorgeous, heart-stopping smiles again except in our minds eye or never again feeling the weight, the softness, the scent of them. Never again hearing their voices call out to us.
The scenario I can never let myself imagine. The one my keyboard practically had to wrangle off my fingertips. What about reserving the strong words we use so casually for real tragedies?
What Heather and Gorillabuns, (two bloggers I have been reading for a while) are going through is every parent’s worst nightmare. I wouldn’t have imagined that I could grieve so much for two children I have never met or held. That I could be so heartbroken for people I have only known virtually – through their blogs.
Heather – totally shattered yet so strong. I am awed and speechless when I read her because I don’t know how she gets out of bed – leave alone writing posts, attending fundraisers and talking publicly about her beloved daughter. For me, she has become synonymous with strength, grace and compassion. Celebrating the life rather than mourning the death. Even with the worst waves of anguish washing over them, Heather and Mike have used whats left in them to help others, to honour Maddie. They have resisted the sad labels and the unnecessary valourization. I won’t call them heroes because they would balk, but I sure as hell will think that thought.
Its such a sign of our times. Overrating physical health/the physical being and underrating the power of the mind, the power of hope, humour and happiness to sustain us in the most adverse situations. Why are we so easily seduced into negative auto-suggestive patterns? Is it easier for people to feel sorry for us if we feel sorry for ourselves?
Now that is what I would call “uheldig”.