What is this?

What is this? I don't really know, other then a continuation of my updates and writings that I was sharing previously on Caringbridge of this journey through cancer and now widowhood and single parenting.

Maybe it won't end up being anything at all, or maybe it will be a glimpse into my heart, my life, my current situation, my testimony.

Whatever it becomes, I am touched that you are interested.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

How to "be" around me - 4 months out

I have received such a positive response to my original post about what to do and what not to do around me in this stage of grief, that I thought enough has changed that another version would probably be helpful.  Grief changes, and those grieving change, as do their needs.

So here it goes:

What NOT to say or do around me:

-As for the harsh terms like: dead, dying, grave and such, I still don't use them much myself.  I don't feel like I got punched in the gut automatically when I hear them now as I did before, and can usually shake it off without much thought.  But it will probably be quite some time before I use such words as flippantly as I have before.

-Hugging me while I'm crying.  This will probably never change.  I know it is strange, Brandon thought so too.  However, I think this statement needed a little further explanation.  I still love to hug hello and goodbye.  A grasp of my hand is appreciated by me at tender moments, but locking me up in a hug is just not a comforting thing for me. But if you need to do something, simply grab me a tissue.  :)

What TO do or say around me:

-Don't be afraid to talk about Brandon.  Sharing memories, how you miss him or mentioning something he would have said or done keeps his memory alive for me.  Yes, I may get a little salty, but it's ok.  Don't feel bad.  Truthfully, the best gift one can give me is a story of him I haven't heard before, or a picture of him I haven't seen before.  It's like a new memory for me, and sadly those will be few and far between now.

-If something in your day reminds you of him, don't be afraid to share it with me.  Text, Facebook, email - whatever.  Knowing he is being thought of and remembered touches my heart more then you know.  One afternoon I received a text from a friend that on his way home from a ski trip he stopped by and visited Brandon at Mount Lindo, and it made my day.

-Tell me what is going on in your life.  Good, bad and ugly.  I still ask for others to be mindful of the severity of what is going on in mine, and use good judgement and perspective - but really, isn't that what we all would hope for from others?  But leave the drama at the door.  I just have no room for it right now.

-Know that I will usually put on a brave face for you.  If you want to know how I am really feeling, go ahead and ask me how I am really feeling.  Most know that I am an open book, but I have a hard time sharing my burdens without invitation, especially ones this heavy.  But I know that not every relationship is cut out to carry that weight, and I understand that, so don't feel like you have to.

-Continue to have patience with me.   This is a loooong process, and in actuality, will never be complete.  But it will be a while before I am capable of much other then surviving.  I can no longer multitask at all, my thoughts are gone before they were even fully formed and I walk around in a fog.

-If it's on your heart to do something, get ahold of me or someone close to me to help coordinate it.  Tell me what, and ask me when.  If left up to me to ask for help, even if previously offered (vaguely or specifically) - I likely will not be able to do it.  I have accepted so much help that I feel burdensome asking for more.  I have learned to say "yes" to help, but it is still very difficult to ask for.  (Written communication, text/email, is best)

-Help me capture some memories by taking a few photos or short videos of Aria and I, and whatever we all are doing together.  Now that it's just me, I rarely have any photos of us together, other then the dreaded selfie.  Just snap a few if the moment is right and send them to me.  It will be so appreciated.

-Share inspiring things with me.  A sermon, quote, image, scripture, song - whatever.  I literally have a list of mantras in my phone because reciting phrases like "One day at a time", and "The only way to do it is go through it" have been pivotal in getting through this.  I also have a list of scripture verses and songs.  (I should make a list of all my lists! lol)  A fellow widow sent me a CD of praise & worship songs that helped get her through this, and it has spoken to my heart in glorious ways.

I think that is about it.  I hope this is helpful?  Thank you, as always, for taking the time to walk this road with me.

1 comment:

  1. Becky and I just ran across this and thought it was pretty good.
    Sometime soon we hope to share with our church family some practical do's and don'ts for reaching out to grieving friends.
    Our hearts go out to you and Brandon's family.


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