Dear Amy: My son-in-law was shot in the thigh during the Las Vegas concert in October. Fortunately, he is now OK.
I belong to a religious congregation of around 35 families. One of the women in my congregation and I are also part of another (affiliated) group.
At a meeting of the group, I mentioned the shooting to this woman. She said I should contact the president of the organization. I received much warmth and support from members of this group. The president sent a memo to the entire religious congregation – I know this because I am on the email list.
What happened next? Nothing! Not one person contacted me to see if he was OK, if I was OK, etc.
I am very hurt. Part of me wants to just silently quit the congregation. Part of me wants to tell them how hurt I was (even though shooting off my mouth has gotten me trouble all during my life), and then quit the congregation, and part of me wants to carry on like nothing happened.
Dear Troubled: You should reach out to your clergy member regarding your concern. Say that your family has been through a frightening, dramatic and traumatic event, and that you would appreciate support during this challenging time.
Be frank and respectful with clergy when you describe your disappointment, even after this email went out. This is very much a pastoral matter, and your clergy should explain why your needs have been neglected, thus far.
This monstrous gunman killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others, many of whom are still trying to recover.
You might take this opportunity to inspire the congregation not only to care more fully about you, but to extend their compassion to the scores of other family members affected by this senseless tragedy.
After you talk with clergy, you might inspire the congregation by sharing the opportunity to donate to the “Music City Cares Fund,” established by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (cfmt.org). This highly rated foundation has pledged that 100 percent of donations made to the Music City Cares Fund will go directly to families impacted by the worst mass shooting in American history.
You don’t say what your faith practice is, but you should consider the possibility that many of them have lifted up private thoughts to you.
The test for you is to see if you can get what you need by asking for it (instead of “shooting your mouth off”). I hope your faith community rises to this simple challenge with compassion.
Dear Amy: My wife is a very opinionated person. She has no social filters.
On her son’s (my stepson’s) wedding day, she began drinking, etc., in mid-morning, along with some of the others in the bridal party.
Without going into explicit detail, I learned after the fact that my wife took the bride aside just before she was due to walk down the aisle, and said she didn’t believe that the bride really loved her son, but was only marrying him for his money.
In the days following the wedding my wife confirmed those feelings to me, yet, now, (weeks later) she denies ever saying those words to the bride.
Apparently, though, at least one other person overheard and confirmed what was said, and shared this with the groom. Understandably, the newlyweds don’t want anything to do with my wife, and I’m left trying to mend fences.
Dear Mending: In the unlikely event of the couple coming to you and asking for reconciliation, you should dive in and try to bring all parties together, in person, to talk this out.
Otherwise, you should continue to tell your wife that she owes her daughter-in-law (and son) an apology, preferably in writing. What she did was unconscionable. I hope it wasn’t unforgivable. Your wife has a big problem. No filter plus alcohol plus denial equals unhappy ending.
Dear Amy: Recently you have included letters from people who have cancer and parts of your responses were along the lines that it looked like they would beat it. As you know, everybody does not survive cancer and I don’t think this is appropriate coming from you, rather than their medical team.
Dear Concerned: I am applauding those who write to share that their treatment seems to be working. For many, cancer is becoming a chronic disease. None of us survives this life. And cancer exacts a terrible toll, but I believe that this is fairly common knowledge.
Email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.