Dreamer’s World May 02, 2018 – Dealing With Grief

    My heart is heavy today. A good friend is struggling with his wife and her deteriorating health right now. She has inoperable cancer, and things are not looking good at all. I am trying to keep focused on things that are going on here, but my mind is obviously on them. I have been through personal loss many times, but it seems to hurt more when it is someone close that is losing a loved one. It is always difficult to judge exactly how to respond to them in their time of need.
    My first impulse is to go and be there with them, but that isn’t always appropriate. There are family members and other friends who are already involved, and the last thing that they need is another person hovering around trying to help. Situations like that usually end up causing hurt feelings on many sides because it often turns into a contest to show who cares the most.
    I have called and left a message of support. I think that is all I can do for now. I will play the part of the escape friend, the one that they can turn to when the situation becomes unbearable. I know from experience that people have to take a break from things that are stressful and sad, else they will go crazy. If my friend needs to talk, I will be here for him. If his wife is able to talk, I am here for her.
    I know that some will find this approach seemingly cold and heartless, but I know that this is something necessary. If I am not called to be there, it isn’t my place to show up unannounced, and it isn’t my job to invite myself there “to help out.” There is no perfect answer or course of action in cases like this.
    I will struggle with some doubts about how I respond, but I am writing this down to serve as a reminder that there is no right answer. Time will take care of itself, and so will we.
    When my friend Donald died in an accident 3 years ago, I hurt like hell, but I was far away and could not immediately rush there to be with his wife. We talked on the phone several times, and she finally told me that having someone to talk to who was removed from the immediate situation saved her sanity. That was a lesson as I think about what is going on today.