Hello, friends. I’m trying to re-establish a routine and a very important part of my routine is writing this blog. I can’t think of a better time to jump back in than with Three On Thursday since I know several of you participate in this weekly exchange of ideas.
Today I’ve got three things you should do for someone who has experienced a traumatic event.
- Check in with them every day. It can be a text, a phone call, an email, whatever is easiest. Tell them you are thinking of them, ask them how they are, and (this one is key, I think) tell them there’s no need to respond. By doing this you are letting them know you care and are thinking about them but also that you aren’t putting any burden or responsibility on them to take care of you.
- Do something for them without asking. I had countless people say, let me know if there’s anything you need. That’s wonderful and I appreciate it very much. But even better were the people who just showed up. I had a friend drop off coffee and avocado toast from my favorite coffee shop. She didn’t ask, she just did it. And that was smart because the reality is that if she had asked I would have said no. Someone, and I still don’t know who, had a meal delivered from a local restaurant. Again, they didn’t ask. They just did it and it was a wonderful and thoughtful surprise. One day last week my sister-in-law Mary called me and said she was going for a walk and she wanted me to join her. She didn’t really ask, she made it pretty clear that she wasn’t going to let me decline. And oh boy did I want to say no but when I tried she insisted so I did it. And it was one of the best things I did all week. If you can’t think of anything specific you could always try saying, what can I do for you today? Providing a specific timeline is helpful when it comes to filling an immediate need.
- Send a card or a note. This seems like such a simple thing but it really means a lot to walk out to the mailbox and gather a stack of cards to read. Just knowing that someone cares enough to make that effort is huge.
As an update, we are doing well. Dale saw the surgeon on Tuesday and he said his leg is healing right as it should be. The Physical Therapist comes for the first time today. We are learning to adjust to his temporary mobility challenges and navigating new territory as we face the emotional fall out of this whole experience. I’ve said it before but I’m going to say it again because it means so much: the love, support, and compassion we have received from all of you is making a gigantic difference. Thank you.
Don’t forget to include your link if you wrote a post for this week. It’s good to be back.
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Robby H says
It’s always good to have your peeps rally around you, isn’t it? I confess, as someone who is pretty private, I hesitate to do some of these things for anyone I don’t know really well wanting to respect their personal space. But I can do a note. Thanks for the reminder. Hope you and Dale continue to get closer to normal.
Thank you for these suggestions, Carole. I think most people want to help, we just don’t know how or what. I especially love the idea of just doing something nice, rather than saying “Let me know if there is something I can do.” And letting someone know that there is no need to respond to a text lets them off the hook. The last thing concerned friends want to do is create MORE chores for someone who has undergone trauma. I am so glad Dale is getting better.
No need to comment back! 🙂
Hooray for being back! I’ve missed you, am glad Dale is home and healing as he should, and hope that physical therapy goes well. All my best you both! XO
It’s great to have you back! And I am very glad for Dale, and you as his caregiver, that things are looking up. All great suggestions, Carole, but I’m like Robby, I hesitate to insert myself into other people’s lives, so I will have to work on that. I laughed a bit about “no need to respond” since I have said that to you a lot, but you always do anyway. By the way, no need to respond, especially now!
gale z says
First, I am so glad Dale’s home and healing. I wonder how long it’ll be before you can walk out your door and not flash on that happening.
Secondly, thank you for this list. I never know what to do for a friend who’s had a trauma or emergency and this is so helpful. xox
I am happy your are back too! And I am even happier that Dale is HOME! I will continue to hold you all close in my heart and I am sending all the healing mojo your way. Good luck with PT today!
Good words Carole. I continue to appreciate your grit and grace.
Jeannie Gray says
It’s good to have you back! I’m so happy Dale is recovering nicely. You both remain in my thoughts & prayers.
Oh, it was good to read your post this morning and such good advice too. Nice to know that Dale is recovering nicely.
So good to have you back Carole…even better that Dale is home. Glad PT is starting and hope that goes well!
Good to have you back – I’ve missed reading your blog. Also, if you are in a routine enough to blog every day, we know things must really be ok! Thanks for the list – good things for all of us to know. Healing thoughts coming Dale’s way!
“…if she had asked I would have said no.” << Sad but true that we do this to ourselves!
I'm so glad that people did what they knew was good for you! Great news about Dale!!
Margene Smith says
You sound like you! It’s nice to have you back and good to hear Dale is home and progressing. PT will be important for his mental state and his recovery overall. Love you!
Such wise and helpful words, Carole! I’m so glad Dale – and YOU – are healing and working through all this together. Sending ALL the juju and love! XO
Carolyn Seymour Thomas says
What great advice–and what great friends & family you have. #2 is a biggie. Most of us don’t from a culture of asking; most of us do come from a culture of saying Oh, how nice of you to ask, but no–we’re okay… When the truth is any small gesture is HUGE and appreciated and nourishing. Coffee & avocado toast. An absolutely beautiful expression of love!
Katie @ The Cozy Burrow says
I’m so happy to see you back! You are so right about number two. My in-laws are so worried about stepping on each other’s toes that no one ever does ANYTHING to help, despite everyone desperately wanting to help each other. It’s painful to watch! I’m so glad that your friends and family found ways to help you that felt natural for all of you.
I hope this weekend brings you some rest and relaxation!!
Lydia Sheffield says
Excellent 3’s to remember. Take care and thinking of you both.
I’m so happy that Dale is home and improving every day!! All good suggestions, especially for friends who live close and want to help make things a bit easier for you during a recovery period. Love to you both!!