When we were kids we witnessed our Mom and Dad show up when people needed help. Food, someone to listen, someone to offer a ride, whatever. It’s almost as though the more broken you were, the more drawn to you they were. Your Mom died, your neighbor found out they have cancer, your son is getting in a lot of trouble, your parents are moving in to live with you and you need some support. They never tried to fix people. Never tried to change them. They just showed up and said “I’m here.”
A few weeks ago my husband and I fell sicker than we’ve ever been before. Completely bed- and toilet-ridden for days. Like 5-6 days straight. It was awful, my insides started to feel smokey and hallow. But my sister and my Dad showed up. My Mom too. They brought food for our kids, fluids for my husband and I, and extra toilet paper, too, because…
I’ve learned something over the last couple of months making these lockets, getting to know the people who’ve come in to my life as a result of The Locket Sisters. I’ve learned that a lot of us close our eyes when uncomfortable things are happening. Sad things. Bad things. Scary things. Any uncomfortable emotion, away we go.
A mother who’s two-year-old was shot and killed by a neighbor said other parents slowly disengage when they learn about her son’s death. It’s too much for them to be too near.
A thanksgiving meal where the host said it was the best year yet even though a widow at the table had lost her husband only months before.
Stop doing that. Stop pretending. Stop averting your eyes. Stare at it, whatever it is. Stare at the things you’re afraid of. Feel the things that make you uncomfortable. Embrace the people in your world who are struggling. Say the names of the people who’ve passed. Bring a pot of soup, a bowl of strawberries or a bottle of wine and just say, “I’m here.”
Your fear and discomfort will burn itself up, and the next step forward is comfort for someone you love who may really, really need it.
Amy + Allyssa