When I lost my sister, I was only 22. That is barely an adult in many measures of the term. I had just graduated from college and had been working less than 1 month as a real, full-time employee. This was the first major loss I had experienced. Chris and I had been dating about 2 years, and I can’t even explain how wonderful he was to be by my side. I was overcome with emotions. There were many days when I cried, cried, and cried some more. Becky and I were very close. We were alike in may ways. She was big sister, my protector, and friend. She was older so she was the natural leader and I was the follower. When she died, I had to learn to find my own voice and speak for myself. Growing up, Becky was adventurous and always found a way to make her dreams a reality whether it was a concert, Governor’s School, trip to Australia, etc., and I was more shy and cautious.
The day she died was just a normal day. Back then, our dad was on 12 hour shifts at Goodyear every other day and every other weekend. The three of us frequently met for lunch. Little did I know that the lunch earlier in the day would be the last time I was able to see her. What if I would have been “too busy” for lunch that day?? After she died, I was numb and faced each day the best I could; however, I didn’t know how to juggle everything in my life. Remember, I recently started working full-time and had just graduated college one month prior. I survived the best way I could and learned that for me, the best way to survive was to stay busy.
They say hindsight is 20-20. Looking back, I should have asked for more help- prayer, counseling, medicine, etc. Asking people to pray for you can feel awkward, embarrassing, or even hard to admit your weaknesses or struggles. For me, I think my needs seemed small in the grand scheme of things because a few months after Becky died in a plane accident, thousands of people were tragically killed as a result of 9/11. The world was grieving a much bigger plane crash and sometimes I felt like I should wave my hand and say, “hey, I’m over here”. While there may always be someone worse off, we still need the prayer and help of others. It’s our natural tendency to think we have to just find a way to persevere. As we try to just make it each day, sometimes our relationships can suffer and sometimes we take out our grief on those closest to us.
In hindsight, I don’t think I turned to God enough when Becky died nor did I rely on the help of others as much as I should have. Maybe I didn’t know how to ask for help or even what to ask for. Again, I was young in many senses of the word and my world was literally turned upside down. I was fortunate to have some patient people in my life at that time.
Sometimes you can’t do it alone. You don’t want to throw away a relationship because you were not able to get the coping help you need. If you ever find yourself in a helpless situation (it could be the death of a close family member or friend, post traumatic stress disorder, depression or even postpartum depression, personal or family problems), whatever the “it” is, it’s ok to ask for help and even more important, it’s ok to accept help from others. Help is everywhere, just don’t be too humble to ask for it or make it obvious that you need help. Sometimes when someone helps another person, it is a blessing for the giver and the receiver. And, if you see someone struggling, try to help him/her find the help needed. One day he or she will thank you!
“Never let your ego get in the way of asking for help when in desperate need. We have all been helped at a point in our lives.” ―