Years ago, when the Furby phenomenon was new, our family had traveled over the Christmas break to visit my mother-in-law. Upon entering town, we ran by the local Wal-Mart to pick up a few groceries. We were curious about the new, hot item of the season, the Furby, and headed to the toy department to see one for ourselves. We had no plans to purchase one as we were on a tight budget and had already spent our limit for Christmas gifts.
As we searched the various shelves full of toys and stuffed animals, we were unable to locate a single Furby. I finally asked an employee in that department and he explained they were sold out but expected a shipment to arrive later that day. I thanked him for his time, wished him a good day, and we headed over to the grocery aisle to fulfill our short list of needs.
Suddenly an announcement was made over the loud-speaker. “Will the lady asking about a certain toy please return to that department.” Puzzled, we looked at each other, unable to imagine what could be the cause of such an odd page. However, we figured we would check it out and headed back to the other side of the store. Since the boys were still quite young, I hurried ahead, telling them to catch up to me there.
Upon entering the toy area, I stopped short. There was the employee I had spoken to fifteen minutes earlier standing in front of a shelf with his arms stretched out, holding back a crowd of people. Upon seeing me, he smiled and said, “The shipment arrived as you left and I wanted you to have first pick of a Furby!” I was stunned.
I slowly moved forward, not sure how to approach the situation. We really had no intention of buying a Furby. However, could I disappoint this young gentleman after he had literally placed himself in harm’s way? He was virtually holding back the impatient shoppers waiting for their coveted Furby so I could choose mine first.
Then it happened. I heard a lady shout, “Look, there is a black one!” That did it. I am ashamed to say my arm moved with lightening speed and clutched that black Furby tightly as I turned around and exited the crowded area, meeting my family who had finally caught up to me.
I laugh now each time I think of that crazy shopping excursion. Running across my Furby as I cleaned my office today, I realized that I have experienced the same emotion on my grief journey. I only grabbed that black Furby because of peer pressure. Someone made him seem the best and right thing to own.
As we walk through grief, there will be people who put pressure on us to act and think certain ways. Experiencing peer pressure while grieving can cause us to be totally unlike ourselves. “Don’t you want to go rest?” “Why aren’t you getting out more?” You should really redo the house and make it your own.”
It is important to take the time to know what you want and what is best for you at this time in your life. It is okay to be sad. There is nothing wrong with changing things, but only if you want to. You may need to spend some time alone in order to be ready to face others later. No one should pressure you to be someone you are not ready to be.
I was not ready to be a Furby owner, but we did purchase it. I did not have the courage nor the heart to disappoint that young man. He thought he had done such a great thing. You will find that others will think they are helping you by making suggestions or taking over for a while. Feel free to speak up for yourself and let others know if you need time and space to figure out what is next in life. After all, it is your journey.
Until next time –