How have you been?
How are you dealing with loss?
How have you been holding up?
How am I ?
I get asked that quite a bit these days and most of the time the person asking actually wants to know, really, how am I ? I love these people and and I know they love me and this sustains me every day.
But some are afraid to ask, I love them too, because I know what it feels like to be afraid to ask.
Some are too hurting themselves to ask, I love them also, I know what it is like to have so much pain in my own life that I just can’t bear to hear more.
Some have so much going on in their lives that they haven’t even had enough time to process how to ask, I love them, I remember the days of sports, transporting teens and relatives, being a volunteer for so many things that the idea of a paying job was crazy, and I know that some people are so busy with the tasks of living that they run out of hours in the day, every day of the week.
Some people just do not want to know the answer, because knowing might hurt too much, I love them anyway.
I have come to realize over the last twenty years that sometimes there can be even more pain in the loss of the relationships of the people who are still alive that need to exit from the life of the grieving person, for any number of reasons, but this pain can last longer than the grief over the person who is at peace with God and the world.
It happens whenever someone loses a child, a sibling, a spouse or even a parent. Inevitably there are people who cannot be with the grieving person. They may be fearful of revisiting loss in their own life or they may be facing the mortality of someone dear to them or even themselves.
I understand this from both sides. I have been the person who has pulled away in fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, and I have been the person left wondering why someone became distant when I needed them most. I am sure someone will remind me of I time when I pulled away from their pain instead of listening to what they were trying to tell me.
Taking care of one self is much more than a little pampering,although a foot massage sounds tempting to me for sure. Taking care of yourself (myself) also means knowing when to ask for help and who to ask for the help. Sometimes it means asking for help over and over again until someone responds. Most people I have known in my lifetime have a much more difficult time caring for themselves than they do others.
I am one of those people.
I am not used to not have anyone to take care of and I doubt I will ever really get used to it.
So if you have been wondering how I am doing and I haven’t called please do go ahead and call, you are not the only one who is wondering, but if your life has been so full that you just haven’t had time to call and you keep meaning to? Then know that I understand and that I will still pick up the phone when life slows down a bit.
I love you!by