This blog is designed to share my journey of recovery with friends and family. Hopefully it will be informative and inspirational. Before anything I want to demonstrate God's amazing power to heal and restore as He has performed in my life.
Sunday, June 09, 2013
How to be a Friend to a Friend in Crisis -Guest Post
treasured friend Bekah wrote this article on her blog and I was so
touched by it that I wanted to share it. I love the helpful hints she
offers as she is standing on the front lines COURAGEOUSLY fighting
for her daughter Keira. On her blog she shares her journey to
understanding and accepting the diagnosis of CMV on her beautiful
little girl. I hope you gleam perspective from what she has
shared and I know she'd welcome you to her blog so that you too can
be an advocate for CMV. You can find her blog
posts are incredible and I find myself blessed to call this
incredibly strong woman my friend. Be Blessed.
to be a Friend to a Friend in Crisis: Preliminary thoughts and an
invitation to discuss
Over the past nine months, I’ve
been initiated into a whole new way of being. As author Emily Rapp
said, I immediately had the sense that I needed to “make my world
big” for the sake of my daughter and myself. The befuddling
question of what to say or not say, do or not do when someone you
know faces a tragedy is something we all face at one time or
another. By experiencing the comforts that the community has
provided and, in return, making myself available to others in times
of need, this is what I have learned:
them know how what they are going through affects you.
I have been surprised to find
that the most uplifting thing has been simply being made aware that
other people are thinking about us, want to know what’s going on,
and feel connected to us in some way. Do not underestimate the value
in that. A quick note or call saying that you’ve heard what’s
happened and are wondering what it’s like and how things are going
can go a long way in helping someone feel more secure.
specific about how you can help.
In crisis, finding help and
delegating people to help satisfy basic needs can be a full time job
in itself. Resist the fear of offering something “silly” and
make known what you’re actually willing to do. I can’t tell you
how many times that’s helped me. For example: watch the kids, pick
up my dry cleaning, pay for a week’s groceries, fill my gas tank,
clean my toilets, fold my laundry, watch my dog, make some phone
calls, let me take a nap, bring me a meal, etc. I’m much more
likely to take you up on a specific offer than, for example, ask you
to do my laundry if you’ve simply said, “Call me if you need
anything.” Also, let me know the level of your availability and/or
commitment. For example: Thursday afternoon, every Thursday
afternoon, 6-8 am, next weekend, etc.
there when the “crisis” is over.
The first few days and weeks
are bubbling and exciting, always waiting for new progress and
information to arise. However, the adjustment lasts far longer than
the initial commotion. Let me know you’re there, even after 3
months, 6 months, when the help seems to be dissipating, but may
still be needed.
err on the side of caution.
Too many friends have been so
afraid to say “the wrong thing” that they say nothing. This,
cumulatively, feels lonely. The most heartfelt and thoughtful
messages I have received in the past months have been from distant
relatives, friends, and acquaintances who are watching from afar.
I’m dying to talk about
what’s happening in my new world. But I worry that you’re sick
of hearing about it. When you ask the basic, “How are you?” or
“How’s Keira?” I don’t know if you’re just being polite,
or if you are interested to know about how I haven’t been sleeping
well lately, or that I’m feeling bogged down by the minutiae of
K’s therapies. Ask me what it’s like. What I need. How things
have changed. How you can be involved.
me about you.
I do not want my world to close
in and be narrow. In fact, I fear that. I want to hear what’s
happening in your life. Too many friends resist telling me their
news because “it’s nothing compared to what you’re going
through.” Nah. It’s all relative. I mean that. The only way that
I’m going to be annoyed about hearing the details of your most
recent drama at work is if you express no interest in my life in
forget the family.
Parents, spouses, and children
are our go-to people. They are working overtime to bring us back to
homeostasis. Ask how they are. Offer to help them. Realize they are
regards to what to say/send/give, if it’s from your heart, do it.
What matters is that you’re
sincere. You can never know what state of mind your friend is going
to be in when he/she receives your gift or your words, but the
effort itself means so much. For example, a cliché statement such
as “blessing in disguise” could feel profoundly beautiful or
disgustingly Pollyannaish, depending on the day. But the fact that
you stepped into my world in whatever way you could is valuable.
Your turn. Please jump in.
Repost this if you think it would be of interest to anyone you know.
I know many of you who read my blog have experienced your own
tragedies: injury, stroke, death in the family, miscarriage, etc.
etc. Some of you may really disagree with my conclusions or you may
have things to add. I want to hear it. What has helped you? What has