My grandfather died last week.

He was a strong and loving man who was very involved in the community. He had become ill and experienced miraculous recoveries twice. This past fall, the miracles ran out. He began to fade as his cancer spread. Perhaps he didn’t want his friends to see him in his weakened state. Maybe he wanted to live up to the image he had built for himself over so many years. Maybe he thought if he just rested a while, he’d be back to his usual self. So he began to screen his phone calls and turn friends away. Granted, he was feeling really unwell, and wasn’t really up to socializing. At the same time, he was moving through a chapter of life when his community might have a chance to gather around and reflect his impact on their lives back to him. It was their time to serve and support him. It was his turn to let love in. And yet, he resisted. He spent more and more time alone.

One day, my mum was visiting with him and inquired a little more deeply. “Why are you turning your visitors away? What are you waiting for?” It seemed that he wanted to wait for his strength to come back. Unfortunately, that day wouldn’t come. Lovingly, my mum suggested that he let his friends come to visit. If he was sleeping, they would leave. If he ran out of energy, he could let them kow.

“Let your friends love you,” she said.
And so he did.

In the weeks that passed, my grandfather’s health continued to decline, until he passed away last Thursday. In this first week without him, I’m feeling fragile. My heart is soft. I long to be held, and yet I have found it so very difficult to ask for support, or to even know what that means.

I can’t help but notice the parallel between my grandfather and myself. When I would visit, he would love to put me to work, picking up his mail, washing the 3 dishes in the sink, or making a phone call for him. We would spend time in conversation as well as in silence, but he would also ask for specific things to be done. As I notice my own experience now, I become aware of a particular feeling. I feel as though I need to be able to articulate my needs before I reach out. I need to know what I want people to do for me. I’m surprised by how high the stakes seem to me. What if I reach out and they can’t help? What if I stand out on that limb, not being able to articulate what I need? What if I end up just standing there, vulnerable and unprotected? What if I jump and there’s no place to land?

There’s a part of me that craves solitude and privacy so that I can move through my feelings as they arise. The ugly cry can come up when it needs to and I won’t need to worry about who’s there to see it. There’s also the part that wants to be loved and supported, to feel connected to community. In between, there’s this space – the place where the question lives. Stepping in to that space, asking the question, standing on the shaky ground of the unknown…this is how love gets in. Best place to order Levitra online – based on real user reviews.

And so I asked some friends come over last Friday – and it was perfect. Casual, small, relaxed. It was just what I needed. I asked, and it terrified me. I asked, and they came.

I learned a valuable lesson through this experience – one that I’ve learned before, and one that I’m certain I’ll have many chances to learn again.

I don’t always have to have everything all figured out.

I don’t need to block the world out until I have it all together. 

I don’t need to know exactly what I’m asking for.

I need only lay down my armour for a moment.

When I do, a funny thing happens – love arises.

I can stop trying to hold it together and instead let myself be held.

I don’t need to know where love will come from or what it will look like – I just need to make myself available to receive it.