I'm not very good at asking for help; I like to think of myself as capable and self-sufficient. However, here goes -- I NEED HELP!
I've had many people -- family, friends, co-workers, neighbors -- offer me help. Usually, it's in the form of, "If there's anything I can do, let me know." Well, there IS something you can do, but I probably won't call and ask because I don't want to inconvenience you or make you feel obligated to drop everything when the helpless widow calls. In addition, I honestly can't remember who uttered those kind offers months ago and who didn't, and I sure don't want to call someone up for help if they didn't offer in the first place! I have read that this is very common among widows and among people in need generally.
However, part of my mission in healing and in writing this blog is to open myself up to the world, and that means admitting that I need some help. Another thing I want to do with this experience is teach others so that we can all be better equipped to help when the next tragedy occurs.
So, here goes: I would LOVE any help I can get to get the house ready to sell!
What does this mean for you? If you are reading this and want to help, please make an offer to help at a specific time or for a specific task. I realize most of you don't know what needs to be done, so just offer to come over and help at a specific time (and let me know if you have specific skills) and I WILL find something for you to do! I think this applies to any situation -- if you want to help someone, it is so much more helpful to offer a specific time and/or specific thing to help with. It is wonderful to have offers to help, but the person who is in need never wants to ask for fear of overstepping boundaries, asking too much, being a nuisance, etc.
My friend Ellie had offered to help because she is frequently free during the day. The other night, she sent me a text that said simply, "Can Riley [her daughter] and I come over and help you with anything tomorrow?" That was SUCH a great thing to do -- it gave me a specific time she could help me, and we got a lot done in that time. If she had left the ball in my court to call and take her up on the "let me know" offer, I probably wouldn't have done so because I wouldn't want to bother her. However, she offered some specific times, and now we have another work date set up for tomorrow. Thank you, Ellie. This is exactly what I will do the next time someone else is in a tough spot.
So, I'm sending out the call -- please contact me with specific times you are available to come over and offer a helping hand! It might be as simple as being with me to offer moral support while I sort through Brian's things, I might need help painting, it might be odds & ends around the house, it might be yard work, etc. If you have preferences to do (or avoid!) or special skills (or are terrible at something!), I will work with that. I have a flexible schedule, so I'll probably take help pretty much any time! Even if we do things that I could technically do alone, it goes much faster and is much more enjoyable with company.
E-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) -- I can promise in exchange for helping, that I will feed you, give you drinks, and make it fun!