Over the last couple of weeks, I have been dealing with a significant amount of loss. I found my dog who I loved very dearly after he had died in his sleep. This was a huge shock for me and I was absolutely distraught. My heart had never hurt so much and I could not stop crying. The next week was filled with sleepless nights and teary eyes, but I decided to try not to think about it when I went away for the weekend. On my way home, I found out that my grandmother had taken a turn for the worse. She died that night. I did not think that my heart could break anymore, but it did. I did not think that I could cry anymore, but I did. I shared so much love with both of them. It’s honestly still hard for me to process that both of them are gone let alone put into words the amount of pain I am feeling about it.
One positive aspect of this difficult time has been that I am reminded of how incredible my support system is. One of the biggest techniques that I preach for supporters is to simply ask what you can do and put out an open offer of help. I have had people contact me offering their support since my grief began. I have not taken up everyone on their offers to talk, but it is nice to know that if or when I need that, those people are there. My one friend called me when she found out about my grandmother. She gave her condolences and told me to let her know if I needed anything. As soon as I hung up I ended up calling her back and saying “I would really like to just go for lunch.” So we went to our favourite breakfast joint and had a great time together. We talked about my grandmother, but we also just chatted about life in general. In that moment, all I really needed was to spend some time with someone I love and eat bacon. I also had my boxing coach send me a message saying “let me know if you need to hit something today” to which I responded “yes please!”
That is what I always find interesting. During difficult times, most of us don’t need grand gestures or to have our friends and family say the right thing. Sometimes it is enough to simply know that there are people who love and support you. Sometimes I want to go out and spend time with friends, sometimes I want to just talk to one or two of my closest friends, and sometimes I want to be left alone. The beauty of having people ask me what I need or let me know that whatever I choose is okay, is that I get exactly what I need. It is not always easy to ask people for what I need, but I am getting better at it. One of my grandmother’s most memorable habits (which was even touched on in her eulogy) was that she would ask people to do things for her all the time with no guilt. Apparently she even got her doctor to end up fixing her dishwasher. So, I’m going to continue to take a page from Grandma and ask people for exactly what I need.