In the past couple of weeks, I have come to realize what an amazing community of people I have in my life.
Some I see regularly,
Others not so much.
Some I talk to a lot,
In the morning,
In the afternoon,
In the night,
Really all hours of the day....
On the phone,
and every other form of communication you can think of.
I just want to say THANK YOU!!! and I hope that I am there for you too.
I have been asked a question quite a bit lately and I have had a hard time answering it, but you have done it just the same.
"What can I do to help?"
You have held me in your love and support, and that is what I have needed.
Now that grief has lessened its initial grip, I have some things that I would like to suggest. Some will be hard while others easier, but they are all important to me...
1. This is a doozy, so I am going to start with this:
Talk to your parents/spouses/significant others about end of life care.
When my Dad brought up what the subject for the first time, I balked. I didn't want to talk about it, but he asked me to stay and it ended up being (believe it or not) a beautiful conversation. Be honest. Be accepting. And realize this very important fact, if you talk to 10 people, you will get 10 very different decisions and wishes and they are all OK. The conversation that I had with my Dad and the ones that he had with everyone else in the family made it so we KNEW what to do and there were no discussions and indecisions about what to do. It strangely made it easier.....
2. This is a practical one....
Airlines have eliminated their Bereavement fares.
I have immediate family in 2 states separated by the majority of the continent. Death/illness/accidents do not come with a 14 day advance warning. Airfare purchased the day of is EXPENSIVE!!!! Set aside some money for airfare if you are like me and have family far from you. I had started a fund after the October health scare, but did not have near enough. I was helped out by a friend who works with an airline, and if I did not have that option, family would of helped out. Don't let financial issues keep you from being there. I know money is tight, but trust me, family, especially in hard times is worth everything.
3. Accept your emotions as they come.
I have ugly cried.
I have laughed.
I have felt this is just weird.
I have ached.
I have been sentimental.
I have been numb.
I have had no appetite.
I have been oh, so tired.
and it is ok. I am on the very strange journey of grief.
4. Accept support when it is offered.
If you are like me, and fairly independent, this may be a little hard. People, who love you, just want to help in any way they can. The support will be from expected and unexpected sources. Accept that this is a time you are in need.
5. Please know that I will be there for you....
One of the greatest gifts of all of this is the firm knowledge that I have AMAZING people in my life who love and support me. I feel the same about you.
The words that demanded to be put down are gone, so I will end this here.....
Feeling secure in my community,