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What To Do For Others

Good morning ... and happy Tuesday to you.  This may seem like a complete out of the blue post, but it has been on my heart for quite some time.  I remember when we were in the hospital I would think to myself ... "one day I will write about this" ... and I guess today is that day. Having just experienced a hard time for us I think the time is prime as I am the one who is trying to figure out the best way to help my parents.  So ... let's chat. 

When people you care about go through hard times there is such a feeling of helplessness.  You want to help.  Part of that is for them and part of it is for you.  You want to feel helpful and take some of the ick of your own feelings away.  I recall when we really needed help and I was still resisting one of my friends telling me to let people bless me.  It was just as much about them as it was me.  I needed to stop blocking the blessings.  It was hard to hear, but so very true.  The moment I stopped thinking the way I did I was so very blessed by so many.  Some of them wrote notes or took me to lunch.  My sweet friend Beth left flowers in the ICU waiting room so I wouldn't have to look at hospital walls when I sat them as a refuge.  People brought meals and prayed with us, all of which was incredibly helpful.  We felt lifted and blessed in the midst of the HARD. 

So ... what can you do for others when they need blessings?  I have some ideas, but I think the best advice I can share would be to just reach out.  Send them a text, tell them you are thinking and loving on them, send them a heart emoji, truly just let them know you are there.  It helps so very much. Beyond that do not ask what you can do.  It is so very overwhelming to try and process how you need help.  Ask for their family member or best friends contact and ask them how you can pitch in.  I promise you they will absolutely know and they will also know what has been managed and what areas need help.  My best friends took over the care of our kids and meals.  I got a text one day that said ... set out a cooler when you get home and leave it there. I would also get texts that said, you get meals every other day, check the cooler.  So incredibly helpful but something I would not have been able to manage on my own. 

If nothing has been set up maybe you are the go person.  Anyone truly in the trenches with a bad situation will need help.  Maybe they need snacks for the hospital (one of my favorite surprises), maybe you send a Starbucks gift card via email (another so helpful one), I had one friend pack a cooler for me, another organized lunch for the ICU waiting room.  I am telling you there is almost nothing that won't feel like a blessing. I would not have made it a day without three friends who walked in and took over my life for me the way I would do it.  My kids were loved on, prayed for, fed, driven, hugged, celebrated, and just checked on.  It was something no amount of thank you will ever be enough. 

Since my mother's accident I have felt so helpless.  I wanted to take them home when they needed to leave and just move in.  I had to respect the fact that they have things they need to do and my mother wanted to feel like she wasn't helpless. I get that feeling.  So ... I have called everyday.  We Facetime and I can check on them and see their faces.  Yesterday I set up a meal delivery service to help my dad with shopping and prep.  They will get meals they like they can enjoy (I hope) and will be helpful.  My dad was thrilled.  They are getting some meals, but also I know they are going to the store which I am trying to cut down on. I am also sending flowers next week while I will be gone to just brighten her week.  The hard thing is that I really can not help her with the healing, but I can take some things off their plate and add some sunshine.  

I think the biggest thing I can share is that there isn't one certain thing you can do or say that will make a hard situation better. So many would share with me that they didn't know what to say to me and I would always respond and say the same.  I felt the same way.  I didn't know what to say to them and there were no magic words that would make me feel better or take any of it away.  It was something I had to just do. I hope that takes away some anxiety on how to approach them, just tell them they are loved and thought about and that you are there.  That is all you can say ... and truly all you can do.  You do not have a magic phrase that will fix any of it, and honestly it would go on deaf ears anyway as they are just trying to get through the day.  I promise you that is 100 true, and not reaching out because you don't know what to say will only make you feel helpless in the end. You can say the wrong thing to some I am sure, but just telling them you are there is never wrong and can not be taken out of context during a time that is hard and trying for all. 

My best advice, just reach out. Your message will always be met with a smile and it will also help you to feel that you have done something in a time where it is hard to help at all. Secondly, ask them who is organizing their help, there will be someone and if there is not, maybe that person is you. Third, keep in contact.  Feeling alone is a real thing during hard times and knowing that you aren't forgotten as your world stopped while the rest goes on is so helpful.  One of my friends would text me a video of a sweet good morning message and I would live for them.  Just seeing someone I cared about in the "flesh" was incredible.  

I hope this helps, if you need or want to chat more, pop me an email.  I am happy to try to help!!


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