Who Shows Up? and when? It is easy to show support during joyous times. It can be far more stressful –and sometimes uncomfortable–to be available in times of crisis, confusion, or death. There are some people who you expect to Show Up during those latter times; others shock you when they reach out. Those few especially make you glance outward from your grief, realizing that circle of people you hold close is wider than you think.
It’s been a month since my dad passed away. I am still amazed at who I have heard from—and who has remained invisible– the last difficult months. Every word and action has truly made an impact on me: a short text or phone call, stacks of cards (some from people I didn’t even know were aware my dad was gone), delivering food for us, sending flowers, reaching out a hand or hug, giving a gift card for a meal, driving people to the airport, sharing some wine, a kind word, an impactful memory, traveling to see us.
There have been foggy days and sleepless nights, my brain running in the opposite direction from where my focus needs to be. So those gestures can jolt me back to today, now.
It is okay to feel uncomfortable when acknowledging your sentiments to me. Stumble, if you need to. You may be articulating your feelings for the first time, while I have been addressing mine for many, many hours already. Whether you express yourself with grace, anger, grief, humor, surprise, tears, hope or couched in your own experiences of someone close to you dying, it means so much when people share.
So Just. Show. Up. I know I will be more conscious of Being There in the future, during those times of mourning. Sadly, I can relate.