Several years ago, when I was married, my husband struggled with a long term illness. While I was in my early twenties we struggled on how to care for him, what our new normal would be and basically, how to function.
I remember a few very shocking moments where the below incident happened to me – an acquaintance or even little-known co-worker, approached me and basically laid the emotional burden on me to help them deal with what I was experiencing, or how they were experiencing dealing with my spouse’s illness. They wanted me to help them cope, or help them understand and deal – when I myself barely deal with putting on pants most days.
This article REALLY gave me closure, something I didn’t think I needed on this particular issue, but just reading the opening paragraphs lit something up inside of me. I forgot what this feeling was like – I no longer live there, but it’s still very easily called up. What an amazing piece of writing to remind us about where we fit in this scheme, and how to focus on the importance of helping those on the inner circle.
When Susan had breast cancer, we heard a lot of lame remarks, but our favorite came from one of Susan’s colleagues. She wanted, she needed, to visit Susan after the surgery, but Susan didn’t feel like having visitors, and she said so. Her colleague’s response? “This isn’t just about you.”