Lessons Learned From Loss: Asking For Help
by Joanne Funch

As we experience a loss it is important that you reach out and ask for help. Telling someone what you need is not shameful, nor is a sign of weakness. But asking for help may make you vulnerable and uncomfortable if you are used to doing everything yourself. I say this from experience, because after the death of my husband I felt uncomfortable asking for help from neighbors and friends. After all, these people had busy lives and I thought their lives hadn't stood still like mine had. Eventually projects around the house stacked up and the one single project now turned into four or five and how could I ask someone as a favor to do them all? One day a friend explained that most people feel helpless around you and would do anything to ease your pain, but we must remember to ask and not presume the people who love us are psychic!

I eventually learned to ask for help without guilt or shame. I continue the practices years later because I no longer feel a need to struggle when people who love me would be honored to lend a hand. What a gift this knowledge has been and in turn I have paid it forward whenever my skills can lend a helping hand to those I see in need.

Here are a few suggestions on tasks to start with:

- ask a neighbor kid to mow the lawn, pull some weeds or tend to your garden

- ask your brother, father or neighbor to help with anything related to fixing or repairing household projects

- ask someone for help with your finances, preferably someone you trust and feel has skill with money

- ask a friend to accompany you out to dinner once a week in the beginning of loss, this will aid in the feeling of loneliness

- ask a sister, mother or girlfriend to baby-sit the kids so you can have some time to yourself and take that time to rejuvenate

These simple suggestions will help you to come up with some tasks of your own. Take the step to ask for help - you will be glad you did.

About the Author

JoAnne Funch is the founder of Heartache to Healing, an online grief support site dedicated to helping anyone to cope with loss, grieving, and bereavement in a compassionate and heartfelt manner.