May 22nd – What if you had to write your eulogy?

Dear me,

(shhhh…I signed loan docs tonight…wiring money to escrow Tuesday…..shhhhh)

In the coaching group that started me on this whole journal writing process, the coach brought up the topic of writing your own eulogy. Apparently they did this last year with some great results but I hadn’t joined yet. She is bringing this assignment back around again and through all the other things going on, I’ve only been able to roll the idea around in the background of my mind, but in the last couple of days, things settled enough for me to find an area of focus and I found it SO interesting/ironic.

As I’ve been trying to understand the essence of ME and identify and reduce my insecure voices, what was THE Big One?

“You don’t really have any friends. You are too weird. You say odd/offensive things and push people away. You desperately WANT friends, but you actually don’t know how to be one.”

Of course, when thinking about how people would remember me RIGHT NOW if I were gone I went right into thinking about the times I *have* been awful. Unfriendly, cold, snappy, unkind, impatient…BUT…for once I didn’t dwell in that. Those thoughts bubbled up, and I washed them away with a wave of compassion for myself.

Then I remembered.

I may be (up until recently) have been awkward at the *everyday* functionality of connection and friendship, BUT…I have had some significant moments with various people. And I don’t mean with expected family members.

For whatever reason, the universe has placed me in front of people when really awful things have happened and I have NOT backed down, NOT put up walls, NOT been afraid to walk into the situation and be of comfort. In one situation, I literally watched all the other co-workers scurry AWAY. In another, someone actually called me in to help and then tapped out.

And while I have not necessarily maintained tight friendships with the people who I’ve comforted, I know that in that moment when they felt like the world was going to swallow them whole that I threw them a lifeline to get by the next minute, the next hour, whatever it took to get them home safely to family.

In fact, I’ve realized that my previous most awkward moments when I viewed myself as flailing, what I was actually doing was reaching out to be vulnerable and connect with people who I admired/respected/enjoyed being around. THEY just couldn’t handle it! But then when someone else is hit with a loss unexpectedly, they suddenly NEED someone willing to just hold them and let them cry without a word. Bring a tissue. Listen to you scream without shushing you. Because I am not afraid to walk into that fire with someone. I *want* to be that person holding your hand through it. Because no one should have to walk it alone.

Like I did.

Like I ended my marriage with no one really on my side.

And it sucked

Like I got the news at work that my best friend at the time had died and no one really knew what to do. I had to go outside and cry and call Marcus so he could talk me down, but no one was there to hug me, no one brought me tissue.

And it sucked.

And now the lyrics to James Taylor’s You’ve Got a Friend are running through my mind, but really…that is it. THAT is my eulogy. “You just call, out my name, and you know, wherever I am, I will be there…yes I will. Cause you’ve got a friend.”

Be kind, be loving, just be.

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3 comments

  1. Robin · May 23, 2015

    Just a quick observation. I am terribly awkward with people, especially when it comes to meeting new people. When we met, you made me feel welcome and I found it easy to talk with you. That’s a rare thing for me since I usually get off to a very slow start. I didn’t find you cold, unfriendly, or impatient at all. In fact, you went out of your way to accommodate me by coming to me, driving us around, and when it comes to my fear of heights when we went hiking. 🙂

  2. Corina · May 24, 2015

    I can relate to you. I’m the one that is always there when needed but the last one to get what I need. Other than my online friends, there isn’t anyone for me to go to, not even family, when I need someone to listen or give me a hug or just sit with me. I think some of us are meant to nurture others, not necessarily to be nurtured by others. Part of that, I think, is that we are seen as the strong ones who never need anyone.

    • Christina Nowacki · May 26, 2015

      You make a very good point about how I’ve presented myself as not in need of nurturing. Very true. I don’t view situations like that in terms of whether someone appears to need it or not. In fact, one of the examples I think of happened with someone who is probably seen like I am as quite strong, but I knew the depth of the pain from what had happened to her so even though I knew she would never expressly ask for a shoulder to cry on, I was there anyway. We mostly just cried and screamed and talked a lot together. Not sure if I ever even touched her (she is NOT a toucher)…but I was present and there.

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