When “What Can I Do” Isn’t Enough!

I had the honor of hearing Lee Woodruff speak at a conference not long ago. She spoke about the trying times she went through when her husband Bob was injured in Iraq. One of the things she said that really spoke to me was something along the lines of, when someone is going through a tough time, don’t just ask “What can I do?” Instead just DO something for them…anything.

Since I had the chance to hear her, which I recommend to anyone if they get the chance, I have remembered those words and tried to incorporate them. Sometimes people we love are going through tough times and we feel helpless and are not sure what to do so we want them to tell us, but guess what, sometimes you just don’t know what you need; and sometimes you don’t need anything right then, but might soon.

Lee had some great suggestions. Think about what you might need, even if you can’t imagine yourself in their shoes. Would you want a hug and no words? Would you want someone to just show up with a meal so they didn’t have to worry about it that night? Would you want someone to drive your kids to school that day? Would you want someone to just sit with you.

Yesterday, something like that happened to me…no “to me” doesn’t seem right, it happened for me. As a lot of you know, we are going through the process of hospice with my dad. He is terminal with cancer and this week we are dealing with learning the knowledge that we are probably down to the last couple of weeks. As you can imagine, it is tough.

One of my beautiful friends started something on Twitter that morphed into a life all it’s own. She started “Cyber Hugs for Jean” and trended #hugs4jean. I can not tell you what it meant when I started seeing those tweets coming through. Something as simple as a cyber message spreading made such a difference yesterday. I was actually able to smile! What a treat. Even today I read back through them after the doctor was here and got to smile again! 🙂

Several months ago when I was sick, friends showed up with a care package, even though I said I didn’t need it. What a great thing to do because I really did need it but as a society, we are always worried about imposing on others.

These are just 2 examples of things that have been done. So remember, when you have a loved one going through a tough time, don’t just say “What can I do?”; just do something.

Just my $.02!

About jeangleason

I am the HR manager for a company in Overland Park. I love to travel and really love the ocean! Spending time with my family & friends is very important to me. These posts are my own and do not reflect those of my company.
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