“Let Me Know If You Need Anything”

May 19, 2021

When my mother died I received endless messages that said, “Please let me know if you need anything.” 

I never did. Not once. 

Not once did I call for help when I was paralyzed by grief and unable to do simple and ordinary tasks. 

Not once did I message for help when I couldn’t figure out how to breathe when the air felt different in the new life I found myself in.

Not once did I ask for help cleaning, cooking or handling life and my children, all things I managed cohesively before grief. 

Not once did I call to request someone show up and sit with me in my heartbreak. 

Not once did I message or ask for anyone to fulfill their offer to “let them know if I needed anything.” 

Most days I had trouble identifying what I actually needed. It’s hard to ask for help you don’t know you need. Other days it was because it was too difficult to express the vulnerabilities of my grief and the harsh realities of the life I’d been left with. It’s hard verbalizing that you’re broken and messy and in need of desperate help and support. 

What if the world stopped asking grieving hearts if we need anything and instead just showed up? What if we kept showing up fiercely, not just in the days following a funeral but the years following it? The moments when it turns from raw and fresh to real and unavoidable. The moments when it turns from a fog to a constant longing. The moments when the memorial services are done and everyone starts drifting back to their normal. The normal grievers no longer have. 

What if the world stopped asking grieving hearts if we need anything and instead just kept showing up fiercely? Uninvited and unannounced, ready to stay or leave with whatever the grieving soul requested in that moment. 

There will still be aching hearts and shattered souls but the weight of grief would be lighter and easier to hold. Life’s mundane tasks would be easier to bear and smoother to achieve. 

People would be less alone. 

Hearts would be comforted.

Minds would be calmed.

People would still be grieving but their grief would be surrounded by love, support, comfort and compassion…and it could change everything. Every. Single. Thing.

What if the world stopped asking grieving hearts if they need anything and instead kept showing up ready to help, however they are needed, without being asked or invited, without any expectations? 

Let’s try it and see….

xox, Chels

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3 comments so far.

3 responses to ““Let Me Know If You Need Anything””

  1. Sonia Hollis says:

    This is so beautiful!! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Kamela says:

    Truth.

    I’ve said that same sentiment to grieving family and friends, and never been taken up on the offer; and, the well-meaning have offered it to me.
    At various times, I’ve texted the Well-Meaning, saying I’m overwhelmed…I need a cleaning person…I’m in pain—and, the general response is, “I’m so sorry, Friend”.
    This sort of response makes me feel worse—as though my friends can’t even bother to stop their lives for a second to work me in—so why bother.
    I believe people really don’t want to be bothered with the messy ones while they suffer…
    But, today I’m stinging into action, and doing something concrete for a friend who’s spouse recently died.

  3. Dawn says:

    Good for you ❤️ You will make such a difference xo

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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