Today, while in a support group for caregivers, family and friends of people with aphasia (which always, thankfully, leads into post stroke issues as well) we were speaking of things that people say that make things worse for us. “You should….. You need to….” always seems to about push me over the edge. I’m like, no shit. I’ll get right on that when I finish the other 300 things I have to do to keep up the house, pay the bills, work full time, entertain you and keep him alive. But when asked what should someone say I was perplexed. I contemplated this for the rest of the day. While laying in bed trying to push the list of the many things I didn’t get to do today onto tomorrow’s already endless list away, this came to me.
Come into my home and while I am setting my husband up to be successful for the next hour while we visit, say nothing. Go into my kitchen and make me a cup of tea. Take that tea and the box of tissues from my bathroom and go sit somewhere out of sight. The front porch, a back bedroom, a quiet room in the basement. When I find you, simply say “How are you?” then nothing more. Let me cry. Let me be angry. Let me complain and ramble on until there is no more. Then….say nothing, except maybe I love you.
I know no one can fix this and that’s okay. I know all of the I should’s and I need to’s and trust me I would love to. But right here, right now I am doing the best I can. Know that, and say nothing.