Everyone has rough patches in their life.
Ed and I have had our fair share.
I’ve been fortunate to have a husband who is a hands on kind of parent and partner, and parents near by who can help. I lean on them a lot. But i’ve always been reticent to ask for outside help.
Sure, sometimes people offer and once in awhile I’d accept. But I’ve never, ever been one to say “I need help.” And i know i’m not alone in that tendency. Which got me to thinking, why?
I know that when someone looks like they need help, I want, no, I feel compelled to help. I want to ease their burden and brighten their day. When someone asks for help – I want to give. It give me joy to be useful to those I care about. My world is made better when I’m able to help someone out.
But why was I so reticent to offer other people that same opportunity. To be weak and let others be strong.
Fear that no one would want to – which would, quite frankly, make me feel worse.
Fear of judgement, we chose to have all these kids, we should be able to handle stuff at home on our own.
Fear of derision that we considered this 12 week old fetus a baby – he was our baby.
He is our baby.
Now and always.
Which can make life lonely and make it hard to really admit to difficulties.
Well, we lost a baby. Not the first time. I certainly hope it’s the last time.
I was and am a bit of a wreck.
I needed help.
I was honest enough to admit it.
A friend offered to set up meals for us. She was going to do it for when we had the baby, but things changed. And she offered to do it now. Because I am hurting, still suffering from morning sickness – even though our baby is no longer here.
Instead of brushing the offer aside, I said yes. Yes, please. And the calendar is filling up. Our dinner plates will be full.
But more importantly, my heart is overflowing.
I’ve gotten messages from high school friends, neighbors, friends of friends, strangers…offering their condolences, sharing tales of similar losses.
So our bellies will be filled in the coming weeks by friends who have seized the opportunity to brighten our dark time, smooth our rough patch. My heart is full because our loss is shared, our pain acknowledged. And while my eyes are still teary, and my arms ache for a baby we won’t see on this side of heaven, my heart is full.
And i’m glad that this time, fear didn’t win.