Dear Katy Perry,
I know you meant well, but last night you got it wrong.
You told 27-year-old American Idol contestant Lauren Engle to be strong after she auditioned in memory of her husband.
Why does she need to be strong?
The poor girl is grieving her husband who has been dead less than two years.
Grieving the past and fearing the future, Lauren is doing her best just to get out of bed each morning.
You telling her to be strong is holding her down. It’s the same as telling her not to be a wimp. To quit crying. Don’t be a baby.
It’s sucking her hope up in a vacuum.
I know you meant well, Katy, but would you tell the families who lost a loved one in the New Zealand shooting to be strong?
Of course not.
Find that contestant, wrap your arms around her, and tell her that one day it won’t always feel so raw. But until then, it’s okay to cry.
Shared sorrow is half a sorrow—Finnish proverb. It means to support someone in their time of need. Because that gives them hope. It helps them go from zero to being their own hero.
With support and love, one day Lauren will be her own champion. Please don’t rob her of that opportunity.
Thank you. Lynda Cheldelin Fell XOXO