Today we were instructed to share what people could say or do that would help a grieving parent. Sometimes I think it is hard to say exactly would is or isn't helpful, just because people are so different. But an article I saw a few days ago, had a suggestion that I wish had been my experience. It was good enough that I wanted to share the sentiment again.
Often people would say to let us know if you need anything. They would mean well and want to help, but I would never know how to respond. I would never know what to ask for. On one hand I'm a little self-conscience, even in the midst of the worst time of my life, I was afraid of asking too much or inconveniencing someone else. The only times that I asked for anything was when I really had no other option but to ask. Additionally grief makes your brain foggy. I can remember the morning after she was born, having to pack up for the five of us to travel down to Florida for the funeral. It took me HOURS to pack. Gary was getting beyond frustrated with me. I couldn't think of what all we needed to be gone a few weeks. After I thought of it, then I couldn't remember what I had just walked into the kids room for. For someone who is usually on top of everything, who is constantly running multiple things through her brain, the mental fog was terrible. As a result I often couldn't think what was coming up, or what I would need help with, or what I needed someone else to do.
The post I saw suggested, that when someone is grieving, just to spend sometime thinking about what might help, and then just do it. There may be times, that you show up on someone's door, and they don't let you in. There may be times that you show up and are a huge help. Sometimes, it may be that you can help, and they never climb out of the covers. Sometimes, it may be that you come to help, and they just need someone to talk to for 2 hours straight. BUT the thing is that by saying let me know what you need, you've put the burden on someone who doesn't have a clue what they need. But by taking the lead to do something, most of the time, you'll be a huge help, and be around for the spur of the moment things that turn out to be a huge comfort.