How many times has someone said this to you in conversation? Conversations that are not necessarily about death or anything “serious” for that matter. Opinions start to come out, words get stronger and then there it goes, “But you’re so young, you just don’t get it.” Most of the time, it’s said with a scoff after, by people that are older than you (obviously).
As if you are unaware of anything. Unaware of life’s hurdles. And, not just hurdles, but life’s most difficult goodbye, death.
In these people’s defense, “most” are unaware of your loss when they say it to you, but at the same time, so what? What makes it “okay” for someone with a couple years on you or even ten years on you (heck, even 30) to belittle your opinion based on what they “think” you know or have experienced.
Reflecting back, it shows more about their issues than it does about you. If it’s intentionally said, it shows insecurity and a need for attention, in my opinion. However, there are certainly scenarios where it is said unintentionally and well, it’s still annoying, but not as annoying, I guess.
In reality, there are millions of people much younger than me that have been through “more” than I ever have or will and I can only begin to imagine the amount of wisdom they hold. This stands true for some 4, 6, and 10-year olds that used to be on my caseload as a social worker.
So what’s the point of this post?
It’s not to try to stop this statement from being said, because that’s impossible. There will always be people who think they know more than you and people who refuse to listen to anyone younger than them (or anyone at all for that matter).
- The first point is to validate you. I guarantee I am not the only “younger” griever who has felt irritated, angry, and belittled at this statement.
- The second point to is create awareness that if you do know someone who is deep in grief, stop using their age as a reason for them to lose their right to an opinion.
I believe in respecting and listening to an elder’s opinion. They have wisdom by experiences and age. With that said, I also believe in respecting and listening to a younger person’s opinion. They may not have age under their belt, but they have experiences. Experiences that deserve a voice.