Friday, May 21, 2010

Practically Relevant

A mom of a young CFer posted this today.  Her son, Conner, who is 7, is not doing well at all.  She speaks about what they need from friends right now.  I really appreciate her transparent honesty.

Here is her post;

don't stop talking to us....

this is a wierd topic...but i feel it's an important one. and this is not just about me or my husband, but any grieving family...because once upon a time, i was on your side of the fence not knowing what to do or what to say...but now i feel i can help you all understand a bit from my new side of the fence...
(once again..not about me...about every grieving family)

please don't ignore us.
don't not talk to us simply cus you don't know what to say.
saying nothing adds to our pain.
because ignoring us makes us feel isolated and neglected and unloved.
it really hurts.
the dumbest question to ask is "how are you doing?" or "how are you feeling?" because the answer is obvious...and it kinda seems like you just want to hear "ok" you don't really genuinely want to know about us...
instead a better question is "how is today"
don't say "let me know how i can help" or "can i help" just find something no matter how small and do it. because if others are anything like me...asking for help is a very hard, learned process and i'll always say "i'm fine" even though like today i'm drowning...
the best way to describe it is that we're not really sure how people best like to help, so when someone says can i help're unsure if they mean cook a meal, mow the lawn, watch the other kids just offer what you'd like to help...because we want the help but are not sure what you want to do to help....
men are mr. fix it's by nature...and when they can't fix something like a child dyeing they walk away. and thats a huge slap to the face. we don't expect you to fix it. because lord knows we've already tried to. we just need the bond to remain open.
it's perfectly ok to not talk about the situation sometimes...infact a welcomed distraction is great, laughter goes a long way...but don't, not talk about it at all like it's the elephant in the room. 
if you don't know what to say simply say that...because honestly...we dont know what to say either. this is all new to us as well...
but by not saying anything, we interprit that as not caring. 
and that adds to our pain.
losing a child or husband or whatever the circumstance is painful enough, but add to it losing what you thought was a close friend, thats just fuel to the fire.
one of my dear friends has been reading books about grieving to help us thru what we're facing and i thought that was a great idea! i wished i had thought of that if you are genuine then maybe find a good book targeted at grief and loss and read'll explain best just how we as grievers are feeling and give you good ideas of topics to talk to us about.

so anyway...the only reason i'm writing this is because i wished i had this information before in my past relationships that suffered loss...not because anyone is making me upset or anything..

You can find more about Sarah and Conner at her blog

3 Response to Practically Relevant

May 24, 2010 at 12:08 PM

This is helpful. Thanks for posting it, Tiffany!

May 24, 2010 at 11:51 PM

It is kinda like hospital stays -- you don't want anyone to come because of how you look and feel but you want everyone to come so you know that others care.

May 25, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Good stuff!!! Thanks!