Help! I Need Somebody!

So, more than twenty years on a farm and I can NOT back a trailer.  Nope.  Can’t do it.

One day I spent hours trying to teach myself how to do it.  Never was able to do anything other than manage to jackknife the trailer, go unhook it and start over.

When I go somewhere with a trailer I do one of two things:  (1) I find a space where I can drive in and be able to just make a loop or (2) I find the nearest person who CAN back a trailer, hand them my keys and ask them to do it.

I feel NO shame.

But that’s not the case with other things I can’t do.  So many times I try to avoid admitting that I am unable to meet certain people’s expectations or do certain things that I either used to be able to do or feel I SHOULD be able to do.

I think the reason I don’t mind outing myself on trailers is because that confession usually gets a laugh or a knowing look from the person who helps me or an admission from someone standing near at the feed store that they also have trouble backing up a trailer.

But when I say, “I just don’t think I’m up to teaching VBS” or “I’d love to come to that event but I’ve reached my social quota this week” or “I’m still struggling with driving by that spot or eating at that restaurant” it’s often met with (at best) a quizzical look or (at worst) a comment about how I should be “better” by now.

And then I DO feel shamed.  I feel like I don’t measure up, like I’m not as valuable as the next person or that I have failed some cosmic test.


You know what though?  That’s a reflection on other people’s lack of compassion and experience or their personal insecurity NOT a reflection of my worth.

It is really just fine for me to admit my limitations because EVERYONE has limitations.

I can’t lift a 250 lb barbell.  But I can whip up dinner for fifty people.  I can’t read Chinese but I can read Dr. Seuss with an accent and hit all the rhymes on cue.  I can’t run a marathon but I can work all day without complaining (most of the time).

I’m human (surprise!).    So are you.

brene brown vulnerablity sounds like truth

I have some limitations as a result of burying a child. You may have limitations because of age or disease or something else I don’t know about or can’t see.

That’s OK.

Let’s make a pact:  I’ll take you as you are and you can take me as I am.  I’ll help you when you need help and you can help me when I need help.

We will extend grace and receive grace as needed to make life work.

Isn’t that really the essence of human community?

brene brown we dont have to do it alone

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

11 thoughts on “Help! I Need Somebody!”

  1. Since losing my 20 year old son, Noah, 2 years ago, I’ve wondered so often why somethings are so hard and if I’m the only one who struggles with certain things. Thank you for this validation that I’m not alone. Driving by the place he died never gets easier or going back to the church we had his funeral where we had been for 15 years was impossible. Just last night we had a dinner to go to and we were the first to leave, everyone seemed to be talking about their children and I couldn’t stand it for a minute more, I wanted to scream and I was on the verge of tears. I just recently discovered your blog and I want to thank you. Your honest words, your faith and the love you have for your family have been the most relatable and encouraging of anything I’m come across in my grief journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have a gift for understanding and explaining so much of grief. Thank you again. It’s sad we turn normal struggles into cosmic tests of worth, but we do. Somehow it’s easier to give grace for the less important things, like backing a trailer (or for me it’s just parking straight…I end up crooked no matter how hard I try!) than being patient with emotional struggles or the long-term spiritual work God is doing in each of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. On Sunday after Mass sadly I had to admitt that I am finding attending choir practice too much for me, even though it has been arranged for a time more convenient for me. I have promised to do my best for the important calendar of the church year and sing each week. It was met with loving support but still has left me feeling lacking 😯

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry-it’s hard to give up something you love to do and that you wish you could still do. But we are who we are and can only do what we can do. Most folks will understand and the ones that don’t are the kind who will always find something to misunderstand about anyone. Praying the Lord gives you peace about your decision and grace in all your relationships. ❤


  4. Thank you for this post. It really hits home, today. Been 4 1/2 months since my 47-year old daughter died – leaving behind a husband and two teenage daughters; we survived Mother’s Day; we are still a family – though a different one, for sure.
    But I was just thinking this morning how there are still so many days when I can do little – beyond helping get the two girls off to school and thinking about a supper. Will I ever want to do crafts again? go on family outings? shop for bargains at a flea market? actually look forward to something — anything? feel joy again? And I am beginning to feel guilty for not being able to re-engage in those activities / social events that I used to relish. I am beginning to sense there are family members that do not understand how ‘crippled’ I am. I am beginning to worry that others will ‘move on’ and I will remain stuck in my grief.
    So, I will remind myself that it is ‘just fine to admit my limitations’ and I will try to “extend grace and receive grace as needed to make life work”. It helps when someone else validates my feelings. Then I feel less alone in this new, unwelcome life of grief.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. As always, Melanie, your words are exact expressions of my feelings. So thankful for you and your gift of writing and willingness to share it. Extra special prayers for all of us this weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

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