My, it has been a while since I’ve blogged, has it not? Yes, yes – it has. The days, weeks and months slip past, and before you notice, you are in a brand new year. Often one doesn’t even recognize it happens, however, time marches on.
I have learned quite a bit over the past several months, and that is truly the point of this blog.
Death and dieing are a couple of topics that seem hard to discuss. Though, we all know that death is truly a part of living; we seem to ignore it, don’t want to think about it, hope we die before we get old, and all of that. The problem with that line of reasoning is that simply isn’t the reality of death. The reality is, that, yes, it is very hard to reason with, because we don’t want to watch a loved one slip away, or all of a sudden be taken from this life, and we don’t want to look at our own mortality. But, come it will.
I’ve learned a few things over the past few months. I hope that the things I’ve learned can prepare you if you find yourself in similar circumstances.
1) Take off your cape. You are NOT superwoman. You cannot do it all. You might think you can, but, I’m hear to tell you, you can’t. In other words, if you are dealing with a life altering situation, shove your pride aside and let people know you need help. Laundry, grocery shopping, paperwork, anything – you CANNOT do it all. A small disclaimer: it is often very difficult to realize you are in this place. When you are running back and forth to doctors appointments, hospitals, rehab, wherever, you are there.
2) Have a list ready. When someone asks you, ‘what can I do to help’, have an answer. Though, often times when in a situation, especially the death of a spouse or child, you have absolutely no idea what you need/want.
3) Don’t feel guilty for things you didn’t do. Really, again ~ you aren’t superwoman.
Going forward the things I will do if/when I hear of a friend or loved one that has lost a spouse/child/close friend I will:
(in addition to prayer) send a card, write a note, offer to do laundry, bring a meal, vacuum the living room, mop the floor, clean up dog poop, sit on the floor and organize bills, sit and chat, take them to lunch, make them laugh, I will come sit with you, pray with you, visit the sick, in other words, tangible things. Depending on the type of relationship I have with the person, I will also – check in on them randomly, force them out of their comfort zone, call them, and most of all, remember that in 2 months, 3 months, whatever, 2 weeks, they still need to know that I care.
Of course, there is the what I won’t do list ~ I won’t:
send a text in abbreviated text form that means nothing, I won’t assume that the person knows what they might need, I won’t ignore them like they have the plague, I will not show up at the hospital, your home, where-ever if I haven’t had any contact with you for years, I won’t assume that they do or do not want to talk about it, be afraid to talk about the person who died. Laughter and memories heal.
I must confess, I wish I didn’t have these lists, but I do. The reason I haven’t blogged since August 4th, is because within two weeks, I entered what I call my crazy months. The reality is, I was already there, but, didn’t recognize it. I spent the next seven weeks either at the hospital, at rehab, or somewhere in-between as I watched my husband, love of my life, best friend, father of my six children, slip farther and farther away, until on October 20th, 2013 he passed from this life into Eternity.
During those months, and after he passed away, I experienced all of the above. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that we (collectively) don’t like the ugly side of life, but, it’s there, like it or not.
I pray my experiences and the small glimpse into my world helps you going forward. Life does go on, even for those that have lost a spouse, child, best friend, some days it can be paralyzing. I pray I am sensitive enough to recognize that the grieving person needs a hug.
And, with that – I have some cards to write!
Growing in Grace,
Join me on my journey – http://laurabeck.beautycounter.com
As always, if you have any comments please take time to write!