Nov 032014
His name

Saying his name, hurts.

There are times when just saying a person’s name, hurts. The emotional pain cannot be tolerated so the name is avoided at all costs, whether it was a past romantic interest who is no longer in your life, a beloved family member or even a pet that you lost from death (or by choice). Just to say their name can bring on tremendous emotional stress, thereby bringing on the emotional, psychological pain.

Unable to Say His Name

I was reminded of this after reading about Brittany Maynard’s struggles, although there is no comparison with her difficulty. Unlike Brittany’s biological limitation to saying her husband’s name, most of us can relate to her struggle but with an inner, emotional twist.

Brittany Maynard was an advocate for right-to-die choices after learning she had a terminal brain cancer diagnosis. She chose to die with dignity after learning of her diagnosis in January after which she moved to Oregon. In Oregon, it is legal to have a doctor prescribe lethal medication and assist in ending one’s life. Brittany took life-ending medication and on November 1, she chose to end her life. This was her wish as she did not want to suffer any longer, nor have her family watch her as she slowly, painfully faded away.

Before she ended her life, she related the difficulty in saying her husband’s name after experiencing two seizures in one day. She knew he was her husband but she was not able to physically verbalize his name.

While most of us are ‘able’ to say a name physically, it can hurt us emotionally to do so if the person is no longer in our lives. The bittersweet memories of just saying the name … their name, can be very painful, so we do our best to avoid verbalizing ‘that’ name. We try to avoid the pain, much like Brittany did.