People you did not expect turn out to be the most helpful
It was a surprise who has been the most supportive or helpful among all of our friends.
One casual acquaintance has sent me a text every day. Some times funny, witty or just an observation. Another dropped by and had the most in-depth conversation with L about how he felt so long in the hospital. By her asking deep questions it was clear she understood how difficult the process was for him. I have learned who are good listeners. That is what I needed, just someone to listen. Not someone to quiz me or ask too many questions, just to hear my thoughts and ideas. Not all your friends will be good at this.
I had friends who quickly turned the conversation to their latest medical issue or the last time they were in the hospital. Interesting but not helpful to share. Anything that starts with, “You need to” is not useful. I figured out that some people just don’t have good experience in showing up or verbalizing caring. How are you? Great question, be prepared that one can still bring tears to my eyes. Some days I am on the edge of functional and that question will remind me that I am still scared and uncertain. What do you need right now? Is there anything that I can do for you? Those are my two favorite questions. That means they are prepared to take action based on what you need instead of what they think you need. A good friend is one who just shows up to go for a walk or do something with you without having to talk cancer for the next hour. I have just ignored the trivial or awkward requests or observations. Instead I focus on the intentions of the person and accept that for what it is. When you give up expectations and just accept what ever people can offer you, it makes things easier. I do choose who to spend my free time with. I need all the energy for myself. Some people take up too much energy or need more than I can offer them. Those energy sucking people I just limit my time with for now.
This may be a good lesson for who to spend my time with and who to limit my time.
Do I feel better after spending time with them? those are the keeper people
Do I feel more tired or exhausted after time with them? those are the people to avoid.