|Thoughtfulness comes in many forms|
Many of us have lost someone close to us. Statistics show that most of us have some ongoing chronic illness or condition that causes some degree of pain. No wonder we appear to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders!
As concerned family and friends, it is a common tendency to want to rush in and fix everything. Some cultures do this much more effusively than others. Concerned parties are always so well meaning.
A friend recently commented about how overwhelmed she felt when her sister died. Her home was flooded with casseroles and cakes, most of which could not be eaten. People were everywhere for days.
Quiet time we spent together crying over a cup of tea was when she started processing her sister was gone. Having suffered for over a year with cancer, she knew her sister was no longer in pain.
This is a close friend. I knew just what to say and when to drop by. We have friends you don't need to call first. These are the friends you can trust your pets with when you need to go out of town for a sick relative. I call them the "drop everything" friends.
These friends never overstay their welcome. I find this comforting. As such, this is the friend that I try to be in return. Sometimes we need to settle our minds more with solitary methods, such as a warm bath, walking the dog,...
There are other friends and acquaintances that I care deeply about. However, I would not have the same comfort level of just dropping by as I would family or a very close friend.
I love to know that I am being thought about. What a tender and special feeling!
Of course, it is ideal to be remembered for no reason at all - just because! There are a few older friends of my Mother's that I send cards to "for no apparent reason". I will get return calls here and there through the year to keep in touch, and it somehow helps me feel closer to her as well.
I had an older, retired friend who was quite sick. She lived miles away in another state and enjoyed my cards. While I was not able to attend her funeral, her daughter wrote that my notes always brought a smile, especially my goofy stickers! I have an amazing collection that could rival any young girl's.
I attempt to write something individualized and meaningful in every card I send. I always include "thinking of you". I make an offer of help if it is realistic, finding most are comfortable letting you know when they are ready to reconnect. I have found that everyone is so different in their rate of healing and need for social interaction.
True friends understand when we need space. I speak from my experience in 1999. I was in complete shock, after realizing what had actually happened. It took me quite some time to "pull it all together". True family and friends stood by on the sidelines waiting patiently.
And today, I am stronger than ever! I am certainly sensitive now in giving everyone the space and time they need to heal. To me, that is "thinking of" the person, loving them and helping them know they are never alone.
Flowers grow out of dark moments. (Corita Kent)