Obligatory

I was talking to a good friend this week and she said that when she was visiting with family  it felt more like they were fulfilling an obligation they had to her.  As I thought more about the discussion I realized how many times since Jack died I have felt that same way.

 Sometimes those feelings are on us but other times they are how we are treated. The question for me becomes do I really want to feel that way regardless of whose attitude is prevailing?  My answer is a resounding “NO!”

While there are times when we need help from others I’d rather do without than feel like I am imposing.  I really don’t even want take the telephone call from the person who shows no interest in the conversation but is fulfilling their perceived obligation to me.

When we are going through our living hell those who are close to us know that we are.  We don’t need to feel we’re their obligatory call or visit anymore than we need to be pitied for what we are going through.  We don’t need to feel like an imposition any more than we need someone to tell  us how to live our lives.

It’s easy to perceive the worst when you’ve hit rock bottom.  It takes a concerted effort not to project your negative emotions onto everyone else.  If the person has always been supportive and loving then its really important to recognize their true intentions have always been good. There is no reason at this moment to think the worst of them.

Still there are times when those interactions are going to feel like they don’t want to bother with you or be bothered by you. Regardless of the intentions (yours or theirs) ask yourself if that is what you want to feel.  If your answer, like mine, is “NO” then its time for you to choose to put your needs first.  And for me that means finding help elsewhere or figuring it out for myself.  While it may not be the easiest route it will be the one that makes me feel better and right now that’s all that matters.

How someone else feels is on them and has nothing to do with you.

How you feel is a choice you make.  Make the one that feels best for you.

With love, Cheryl

One thought on “Obligatory

  1. I loved hearing Jack on video just now and seeing the photo of him with your beloved dog. Oh, the precious memories you have that some people never get to experience at all. I don’t dread anniversaries of my loved one’s deaths, but sometimes when I realize what day it is or many times in between, I bring out their picture and touch it with my fingers and “talk” to them for a bit. I have a photograph in my office of my mother, waving happily to me from her position inside a lovely latticed gazebo in Maui. I think I knew then why I was taking the picture with that pose; so when she was gone I could look at that happy face and that confident wave and remember vividly the day and her and how much we loved each other. We all handle grief in our own way; I wish the best for you on your continuing journey without him (although really he will always be with you in spirit and in your heart and mind. -Cheryl

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