Thursday, September 2, 2010
"Expiration: 3-17-10 Do not double"
I've been pretty swamped with BRICKS related work lately, and Ive been lucky to have the assistance of a couple of wonderful helpers. But in my day to day life, the one where Im left figuring out how to fix things or how Im going to pay to fix something, the offers of help have waned since the days immediately following my husband's death.
In the days and weeks right after a major life changing event, people flock to you, come at you from all sides offering everything from food to housework to money. A lot of times these well intentioned offers are completely unsolicited and absolutely sincere. For me, in those first few weeks, maybe even months, I didnt know WHAT I needed. All I knew for sure was that there were things I wasnt ready to do or deal with, and that Id let people know when that time came. I didnt realize that time would be nearly a year and a half later. Back then I couldnt bear the thought of cataloguing my husband's art work or packing up his supplies. It took me months to pack up his clothes and even to this day some of his things remain exactly where he left them.
With so much time gone by, I feel as though those offers of help may not be redeemable. Sure, people still care about me and my situation, but I often feel like those not living with the loss in the way I am probably dont understand why Im not "all better" or "back to normal" by now. They probably cant comprehend how absolutely immobilizing approaching some of these tasks may be. Can I paint the kitchen ceiling by myself? Sure. Can I do it without remembering Rick on a ladder patching the hole in it? No. Do I need someone to say "Todays the day we paint this ceiling!"? Maybe.
My question to you, dear readers is: When you offer to help someone, does that offer ever expire? Do you offer out of obligation or sincere willingness to help when needed? Do you feel like people dealing with a loss, diagnosis, or other life altering event lose their right to cash in the help coupon after a certain period of time?
To those of you on the same end of this situation as me, what has your experience been with this? Have you found areas where you realized you needed help well after your life changing event? How have you reminded people they offered help once, and have you been successful in receiving it?
Please share your thoughts on this, Id love to hear from everyone!