For the past two years, I have selected a word (or did a word select me?) to focus on throughout the year while dealing with the challenges of caregiving. Last year my word was JOY and the year prior, my word was GENTLE. I have enjoyed going back and reading my blogs as to why those words became my words. My blog surely helps me to remember where I was mentally at that time. So that’s why I’m writing again today. I’ll need to look back and remember this day.
KINDNESS. This word is my new word for 2022.
The kindness of others has carried me through the months of Bob’s decline and then his passing. It’s true that a rough time brings out the best in people. I’ve been surrounded by kindness. It’s amazing how much love has been heaped upon me. Special family times. Flowers in abundance. Sympathy cards with beautiful sentiments. Long letters. Sweet Facebook posts. Phone calls. Emails. Texts. Handholding. Prayers. Delicious homemade meals. Crying with others. Laughing with others. Heartfelt small gifts. Unexpected big gifts. Special Christmas ornaments. Sage advice. Listening ears. Meals with supportive friends. Invites to go places. Caring hugs. KINDNESS over and over.
So, what I’ve noticed about myself is that I’m much more sympathetic towards others now. I don’t think I understood how devasting it can be to lose a loved one until now. I never felt such deep heartache until Bob’s death. I know I was very sad when I lost my grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, other relatives, and even friends but I don’t think I was as empathic to the surviving spouse or family as I would be now. I needed to feel the pain myself to be able to feel it for others. And boy, do I feel it now. Bob’s death brought feelings I never knew. The pain and sadness that someone else is feeling is so real to me now. I’m sorry that it took Bob’s death for me to feel this deep of a compassion for someone else’s loss. The loss of my husband has changed me in many ways, and I think this is one of the better changes. Yes, my emotions are so raw right now, but I feel my heart is more open to the feelings of others. It’s like I’m set on super sensitive mode!
So, I need to remember to be kind to those that are hurting. And I think you’d agree that we all fit that category. We all have something going on in our lives that is hurting us. We all have some kind of struggle. We all could use kindness. I’m grateful to all of you that showered me with kindness and paved the way for me to choose my new word (and my new action) for 2022!
Here we go 2022!
Be Kind. Please.