Help? I Don’t Need Help…
By Helene J. Powers
Why is it so hard for us to accept help? Or to offer it in a way that is well-received?
Those questions resonated powerfully during a recent Friends Indeedreading and discussion hosted by the Deacons of the First Congregational Church of Southampton, MA.
“It is not easy to ask for, or to accept help,” I shared, “even when one’s family is faced with a serious medical condition. But the day I almost walked out the door to work wearing just a slip and a turtleneck, I finally had to admit I couldn’t do it all alone” (From Friends Indeed: How to Help During a Serious Illness).
Congregation members laughed and nodded in recognition. One person shared how helpful it was when friends organized meals and did errands after the birth of her children. Others discussed the support they felt when folks sent thoughtful cards and prayers while they were sick.
We also talked about how serious illness, an unexpected emergency, even happy but life-changing events such as adoption, can quickly make everyday life overwhelming. Sometimes we don’t even realize we need help until we are beyond exhausted. Or an ill loved one, for whom we’re the primary caregiver, may feel too fragile and vulnerable to have other people around.
The National Family Caregivers Association offers two free brochures that offer a great starting point, both for asking for help and for offering it:
What makes it easier for you to receive help during a caregiving situation? How have you offered help successfully?
Helene J. Powers is an educator and writer in Greenfield, MA. Her website is helenepowers.com.
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