What to do When Life Falls Apart
It’s a funny thing, perspective. Perspective is a particular attitude towards something, your viewpoint, your slant- if you will. Everyone has their own perspective on life, on what they think it’s all about until of course, something happens to turn that view completely upside down.
The Moment that Changes Everything
For example, watching the love of your life slip into a catatonic state, completely nonresponsive, your mind racing as you clasp their icy cold ashen hands wondering whether you’ll ever feel the warmth return to them.
Then there are the phone calls, the texts, the drop-ins of friends and family stopping to see if there’s anything they can do. Of course at the moment, there’s nothing, nothing that can be done at all, the house could fall down, cave in, burn and you wouldn’t give a rats ass anyway because all that matters in the world is lying in a room, with cords, wires and IV’s running here there and everywhere.
Surpassing that, there are the burning questions of why, how and you have so little information to give- because hell, no one will tell you anything.
It doesn’t matter that you’re the spouse, you answer the questions, medical history, surgeries, allergies, social security number, all the big ones, then all the little ones. Only you don’t just answer them once, you answer them over and over again until you find yourself wondering if ANYONE at all is writing any of this stuff down. You start to get paranoid that if you leave their side someone may treat them improperly because no one seems to be paying any attention to the information they’re being given.
But it’s all just perspective, right? I mean, it’s your job as the other half to keep the kids calm and in the loop, to stay strong, get the house clean for possible drop in guests, water the plants, feed the pets, feed the kids, do the laundry, answer the calls, text to keep everyone in the loop and maintain some semblance of sanity. It’s your job to be strong, isn’t it?
They’ll ask “what can they do?”, here’s what…
So now you’re probably wondering what to do when life falls apart for someone that you care about. The most important thing on that list is something you SHOULDN’T do.
1. Don’t Stop Calling and Texting–
That’s right, DON’T STOP. Even if the person is too distracted to answer right away, those texts and calls are a lifeline. They show that someone out there gives a damn, that they aren’t alone even though they feel like they’re watching everything they care about in life slip away. Please, don’t be offended if you don’t get a response or if it takes a couple of days for them to respond.
If they’re at a hospital, chances are the service is blocked or bad, if they’re home, chances are they’re playing catch-up or nurse and just trying to hold it all together. Or, they may think that they’ve already returned your call or text, that they’ve already answered you, until they’re scrolling through at 2 or 3 in the morning and realize, “oops, apparently not”.
2. Take over the little things
The menial everyday tasks that people tend to forget about because they’re mainly habit and don’t normally require much thought. Pick up the mail, water the plants, water the lawn if it needs it, if it’s winter shovel the walkway, bring a mug of tea or coffee, offer to feed or walk pets. I’ve been home for a few days now and wouldn’t you know, I just realized that the mail is still in the mailbox, it’s been there for nearly a week.
3. Prepare a Meal or Casserole
Drop it off at the house because people need to eat! I literally ate one time in 3 days, (Worst diet ever!) All joking aside, friends who stopped into the hospital to visit offered to take me to lunch but I just wasn’t willing to leave his side.
My son brought me a sandwich one evening, I knew he and his brother were eating, I didn’t want to leave the hospital. When things start to turn around and you head home, your head is so full of other distractions that meal preparation or planning is the furthest thing on your mind.
It doesn’t need to be gourmet, just something that can be warmed in the microwave, or grabbed in between trips in and out of the house to grab a quick shower or pick up other necessities.
If you suddenly find a loved one or close friend whose life has taken a quick turn for the worse, remember the simple tips above. You could easily be the glue that holds them together with a few kind gestures.
If you’re the one whose life is suddenly falling apart, just BREATHE. Stop, close your eyes a second, take a breath and remember that this too shall pass. When you’re going through hell, the trick to getting through is to keep going.
Canstock Photo: VILevi