With a Little Help From our Friends
I’ve always liked the song, “I Get by With a Little Help from My Friends.” John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote it in 1967 and it was the second song on the St. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The chorus goes,
Do you need anybody?
I just need someone to love
Could it be anybody?
I want somebody to love
Someone to love. In this world, isn’t that what all of us need the most, just someone to love.
Whether we are grieving, in the midst of a pandemic, in a health crisis, or during one of those rare times when all is well in our world, someone to love and to love us is what we long for, we need. And for most of us, we have that, in some form. We are loved by family - parents, siblings, spouses and children. For those of us really lucky, we even have non-family that care about us, we have friends that love us too.
And sometimes friends can provide support that family just cannot. Friends can love us with a degree of separation that is difficult for family, who are so invested in us.
When we are grieving it is sometimes hard for family to be our best support. Often, they are deep in their own grief from the loved one’s death. In the recently published book, Heartbroken – Grief and Hope Inside the Opioid Crisis, the care of a friend is described by Ann. Ann and her husband, Greg, lost their only child, Ryan. Ann described the friend in this way,
“A person I worked with, Cheryl, came by to visit. I knew her, but we weren’t close. I consider her a close friend now. She’d lost her Mom in a tragic house fire a few years earlier. She started coming by the house. She gently nudged me to get out of the house.
She told me, “You need to get back to work. Don’t worry, I’ll talk to the bosses and co-workers who do not know what happened, so you don’t have to tell them.”
And a few paragraphs later,
“On the first Mother’s Day after Ryan died, Cheryl called me and asked, “What are you doing on Mother’s Day?”
I told her, “I don’t have any plans; Greg is working.”
She said, “You are coming with me, we are going on the boat for the day.” She made sure the day was spent relaxing and enjoying the lake. And talking about Ryan. She helped me tremendously.
She saved me.”
Sometimes a person, like Cheryl was for Ann, becomes a friend as they support you through a grief journey. Cheryl had experienced a traumatic loss and grief that enabled her to know how to help Ann. Something Ann’s family wasn’t fully able to do for her.
So, if you have a friend who is grieving and you can help be that support, step up and offer that assistance. Help them get by with a little help from a friend.
We can do this for each other during this pandemic, too, by offering kindness and support to our friends. Let’s do it!
We Lost Her, available at this link on Amazon.com
Heartbroken, available at this link on Amazon.com
Heartlinks Grief Center volunteer and Family Hospice board member
“We Grow Stronger Together”