I am not a talker of feelings nor can I adequately express my emotions.
Say it with me. F E E L I N G S. E M O T I O N S.
I avoid them at all costs. I crack jokes to avoid uncomfortable talks and things I’m not ready to hear. My last year has been a roller-coaster with my youngest sister passing and 2 months later my dad passing. Through the whole thing, I couldn’t talk. I awkwardly stood in hospital rooms, eyes glued to my phone and gave the gentle pat on the shoulder or the stiff hugs while avoiding eye contact. Some who deal with the same thing I do can probably understand, while others won’t. Others will tell me to “Grow up, you’re being insensitive”. When I say that it feels like I’m going to throw up from how nauseous I get and my chest feels like it has a 500-lb. rock on it; I literally mean it feels just like that.
Side note, I may have some form of anxiety. Taking a guess, as I usually self-diagnose myself from what I find on google at 3 AM.
We all know someone who is sick. We all know someone who’s sat in their doctor’s office anxiously awaiting results and being told their chances of death have increased because they were diagnosed with an illness. Getting to work with women who battle breast cancer, I’ve often had the pleasure of hearing their stories. What came next, how to tell their families, the struggles, the stress and the worry. The one thing I always hear is how appreciative they are of not just the support but the actions that are shown by loved ones, doctors and nurses, even strangers. It reminded me that even small things matter, small actions are appreciated so much more than we think they are.
If you’re like me, actions are easier than words. If you’re also like me, and you don’t always know what to do, here is a list of things you could do to say “I’m here. I care. I love you”….
-Check in with them. We all get busy, and that’s ok. A quick text may not seem like a whole lot but it shows you care. “How are you? Let me know how your visit goes. Do you need anything? Do you need company?” the smallest things mean the most.
-Cook for them. Momma always told me the way to a man’s heart is through food, but I’ve learned it’s the way to almost everyone’s heart lol.
-Leave little notes. Nothing long, just short and simple. Something that would make them smile. “Thinking of you” “Smile, you are loved” “You are strong”.
-Take them to do their favorite thing. Whether it be a movie night, going on a hike, getting a pedicure, going to the beach, or whatever it may be. Help them take their mind off the stress of things and have a little fun.
-Lend a helping hand. Daily things can sometimes get hard. Picking kids up from school, cleaning around the house, driving them to doctor’s appointments or even to the grocery store can be a great way to not only help out where you can, but also spend some time together!