September 27, 2019

being there for someone and a boob voyage

I met Danielle from a friend who I was introduced to by another friend. She needed someone to go to chemo with her. But you know when you are asked to help someone and they end up helping you more than you help them? That was this.

It's healing to turn around and be able to be there for someone in ways that other people were there for you or that you wish had been there for you. Because you get it now. And it is so nice to be with someone who gets it. Some people have to experience it to get it while some people just have that ability to relate and care (I had to learn compassion through experience).

Danielle is also an amazingly sweet and kind person. You feel her strength and goodness just by being in her presence.

E and I got to attend her "Boob Voyage" party a few days before her surgery. We ate and talked and showered her with gifts to help make surgery just a little bit easier.

I really haven't done a whole lot for Danielle. So don't think that. But my thoughts have been drawn lately to how to help people. Because life is rough sometimes and we all need each other. But sometimes we don't know know exactly what we can do. But I know that every small kindness offered to me meant the world. Really I think people going through cancer, or anything hard, just need people to be there and check in on them. But here are some concrete ideas in no particular order:

1. Texting is great. But also don't be offended if the person takes a long time (or doesn't ever) reply.
2. Cards in the mail.
3. Organize meals, bring meals, and gift cards
4. Small treats or gifts (window rainbow maker, water bottle, healthy or yummy snack, journal, pens, flowers, a drink, nailpolish, etc....)
5. visits (it can feel so lonely and isolating when you are recovering, what I wanted most was people to just hang out)
6. showing up to help clean
7. calling on the way to the store asking if you can pick something up for them or run an errand
8. celebrate with them, throw a party
9. go with them to appointments
10. check in on their spouse
11. send funny messages/jokes/videos--laughter is the best
12. don't ignore the situation, tell them how strong they are, tell them about a product that will heal them, or about your great aunt so and so who died

I saw this on someone's instagram and I thought "Yes!"

Just someone to say "yes this sucks and I'll be here with you. for as long as you need." And it might take awhile. That's the best.

This was also posted on instagram and I totally agree.

We all go through times of suffering and pain. Sometimes really, really intense pain or suffering. We lift each other by being there through the thick and thin of it. That mostly means patience with each other.