“Call if you need anything!

How many times have you heard those five familiar words after a crisis or loss of a loved one? Friends want to reach out to you, but aren’t sure exactly what you need. And, if you’re trying to find your equilibrium after a traumatic event, it might be more than you can handle just to make the call for help.

Think about this insightful idea. At a grief seminar, the question came up, ”What do you do with all the people who say, ‘call if you need anything?’ “

A woman in the audience raised her hand and said she had a solution. Since her husband’s recent death she has found many things she isn’t able to do, at least not right now. Whenever a task comes to mind, maybe something her husband had always done, or one that feels overwhelming, she writes it on a list. The ongoing list stays close by.

Now, when an offer of assistance comes she snaps a photo of the list, and texts it to the caller; kindly suggesting they might want to take care of something on her “help list.” Recently after sharing the list, she was amazed when a group of ten people from her church showed up one weekend, and knocked out the entire list!

Two things happened that day. The newly widowed woman realized she is not alone in this turbulent season. And, those who came to help were able to provide what she needed most… rather than another tuna casserole for her freezer!

What would you write on your help list today? Don’t be afraid to let someone know about it!

Beth Marshall

Beth Marshall is a freelance journalist, speaker and author of two grief-related books. Grief Survivor, 28 Steps toward Hope and Healing; and A Time to Heal, a grief journal. After losing three close people in her life, Beth felt crushed and overwhelmed by the intense emotions of grief. As she began to write about her "uniquely awesome" family members, Marshall eventually began to smile again- and even laugh. Her hope is to help others discover joy-filled life after loss.

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