If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know my daughter, Jenny, has begun her most unexpected cancer journey. Her brother and I are on the journey with her. I know that I can speak for the three of us on this topic.
People want to help, but it's often very difficult.
What do you say? What do you do?
I know this is very hard for some people, but sometimes, the best thing you can say is, "How are you?"
In my situation, if I don't feel like talking, I'll just say, "We're doing all right." Please don't expect a detailed answer on how Jenny is doing or all the latest news. (I do know people who contact me for that very reason.) There is a Caring Bridge site set up for that information.
I love reading the notes that have been left! I am so thankful that we have the kind of support expressed on Caring Bridge.
If you see me on the street, we can say Hi. I might or might answer your questions. It all depends on how I feel. Please remember, this is a very stressful and emotional time for all of us. Distraction is also good for the soul.
You can call me. If I am feeling good that day, I'll either pick up or call you back. There are times when when I won't want to talk, or I'm just tired of repeating the story over and over.
Leave a message of support if I can't pick up the phone for whatever reason.
Send me an email. I appreciate those, as well as calls, very much. I am on Facebook. You can contact me there, too. Sometimes, a note such as the one I received recently that said, "I'm just checking in to see if things are better for you now." Believe me, I truly appreciated that email. It helped me very much on a very low day.
One thing I would ask is if you think that crying together is helpful, please don't call me. I won't talk to you. I cannot be your emotional support. I have a hard enough time supporting my children and me emotionally. You will find that we have a very short conversation if any at all.
Just be a friend. Make me laugh. Make me forget for a few minutes. I do need and appreciate a good laugh.
This is a most difficult journey. It's a path no one wants to travel, but with help, we will make it, some what bruised and battered, but we will make it!