My sister’s friend’s father is in the hospital, getting a new heart valve, and things are a bit rocky. They had to install two pacemakers yesterday without much notice.
She is scattered and frayed and I am doing the job here taking care of her and keeping my sister in the loop via text messaging.
It’s hard and stressful but I am damn good at it because I have so much experience processing not just my own emotions but also the emotions of my whole family. I was always the bouncy bit, the one who had to be the shock absorber, taking the edges off and being the rock.
The friend has never really processed the loss in her life, but I had to learn to process not just my own loss but also the loss from everyone else around me I was the one you could trust to be calm, stoic and centred even in the craziest times.
Her father needs that kind of work now. He has to focus on his own healing, not the micro managing, controlling and desperate needs of his daughter. It is her turn to be the rock for him.
People who are used to having a rock, though, are often not at all good at being one. If they don’t have the discipline and habits to process their own stuff, they don’t have the tools to help others process, either.
It is very hard to simply be present and kind if you are all jumpy inside, feeling all your buttons pushed and wanting to do whatever you do to stuff those feelings, habits, distractions, controlling behaviours and speed.
My sister was down there on Monday for the surgery and I may have to go down there today, just to be the rock they both need as he struggles to recuperate and heal.
I know how to do that work, but I also know how to help people get ready for times like this if they only listen and do the work. People heal in their own tie and their own way, though, so there is little that can be done.
My life was all about processing the loss and emotions of my family.
Is there any wonder why I am so skint and bereft?
Addendum: And more loss. The department store my sister is manager in is closing in April. Oy.