I’ve walked a path of loss when my late husband David was passing. Now, I am watching as a number of my friends are taking that same journey.
We were blessed with friends and family that cared for us during that dark time in our lives. For that I will forever be grateful.
I also learned in those days that although some folks had compassion for the situation, for our family and for David, it was tough for them to take action. It was hard for them to be physically present to watch this all unfold. Still, they took action to make our lives a bit easier. We received many gifts of financial support, meals, lodging when needed and more.
I’ve been reading lately about compassion. It is defined as sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
Although we feel those things, we don’t always take action. It is hard for some people to actually help out.
Over the years, and now as my friends are dealing with circumstances that mirror my own past, I have tried to be present in the capacity that I know best.
I can advise on the different services available, the all-important task of taking care of ones self and even some of the steps needed to protect our own future. I give advice, but try to only do it when asked. The operative word there due to my director personality is “try”.
We all have our skills, our knowledge and our experience to draw on in this life. I believe it is up to us to use those things when we see a need. We can show compassion, but if at all possible throw in a little action too.
I remember when I was 24/7 caregiver to David I became a little overwhelmed. It is sort of like living in a bubble without a pin to pop it and get out.
It was in the days before we knew going to the tanning bed might not be the best idea. My daughter Velvet came home one day and asked if she bought a tanning package for me and stayed with her dad while I went would I go. – Yes!
It was a simple gesture, but I have to say that for those ten minutes when I shut the lid on the tanning bed it was peace. It was rejuvenation. For those ten minutes there was silence. I was alone and I could rest. I knew Velvet was caring for her dad and I knew I didn’t have to worry.
A simple gesture that took little effort from my daughter, but it was a huge gift for her mama.
Compassion is a wonderful thing, but accompany it with action and it becomes a great gift.
In less than two weeks, we will head back to North Dakota for the first of our visits to our little house there. We are excited both for the journey, and to visit our friends and family and make some new memories.
We are blessed in many ways and we are looking forward to sharing time with people we love.
Life is good today. ν