After this introduction, the entirety of today's newsletter focuses on the theme that we put together after we learned of a beloved community member's passing. While I don't go into details, please be aware that the first three paragraphs contain the topic of death.
There's a chance that you're unaware of what I did in the above paragraph - that was a content warning, or trigger warning. I thought that I should take a minute to share my take on them because you might not have thought about them a whole lot. And they're worthy of taking time to learn more about if that's the case.
It took me awhile to truly understand why these warnings are important. They acknowledge our humanity, and that life can be brutal. Having them in your writing or speaking isn't to "protect delicate snowflakes" - these heads-up give someone who has had a horrible experience, a chance to either prepare themselves for a reminder of that experience, or to altogether avoid it.
For a personal example of when a death CW would have meant a lot to me: a veterinarian friend of mine shared a post on a social media site about pet loss that didn't include a warning. I read it and it took me back when I had to decide to say goodbye to my beloved Warrington cat. The pain, tears, and depression caused by that post lasted for days.
If there had been a heads-up, then I would have known that the post (although super-important) might bring those feelings to the surface, and I would have skipped it until I felt like I could read it with less likelihood that I'd have a negative reaction.
As a result of that one post, I'm wary of all of her posts just in case there's one that will trigger those or other negative emotions - and that stinks. I value her friendship, but I'd rather not risk going through that pain again if possible.
Does that make me a "bleeding-heart easily-melted snowflake?" No. It makes me human. There's enough chaos and misery in this world, and being a little more kind to others is the minimum of we can do with our lives.