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writing prompt: what was the hardest news you’ve ever had to deliver?

Delivering bad news is exactly what it sounds like. There’s a reason it’s not called “telling bad news.” You must give someone the bad news that you have. The same way you deliver a package, delivering bad news is like leaving your giant pile of sadness and stress and on someone’s coffee table then walking away, knowing that have left them something they now have to deal with. Bad news is like that. It takes up space. When you deliver something as heavy as bad news, you have no way of knowing what the receiver will want to do with it.  The receiver might choose to open it up and understand its contents better. He might quickly pack it away in some storage closet to be dealt with later. Or he might take a blanket, cover it up, transforming it into an awkward piece of furniture that now lives in the room.

On the other hand, the actual delivery of bad news has its techniques as well. One might consider just dropping off the news, then getting back on the road. Or you might feel that your delivery is important enough that it requires a signature upon delivery, so you deliver and wait just long enough to get proof that the exchange took place. Finally, there are delivery men who come into your life and make themselves at home, scuffing your floors, using your bathroom, and asking for a glass of water. These are the worst types of delivery men.  

I would like to think that not only am I a fairly reasonable deliver-ee, always trying not to “shoot the messenger” and whatnot, but I also try to be as respectful a deliver-er.  I realize that timing in the delivery is half the battle, although there never seems to be the perfect time to call. Maybe you’re at home; I don’t want to bother you while you’re relaxing. It’s 4pm, you’re at work; I can’t bother you at work.  And then why spoil a perfectly nice weekend?

What you might do with this news post-delivery scares me. A lot, actually. I would like to think you won’t tear into it and throw it back in my face, piece by rotten, sad, little piece. I also don’t want you to obsess over it, carrying it with you everywhere you go, turning it into something it never had to become. I just need to give this to you so that I don’t have to carry it anymore.  You are my friend.  I’m here for you. The bad news, though, is that I’m a liar. But what kind of friend would I be if I told you that ————-REDACTED————.

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