sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Emily Carrington EPLA Executive Director
The other night I was standing in the kitchen unloading my groceries. My four-year-old was begging for grapes (which she hasn’t wanted for weeks and were not in my grocery order), and I realized we would not have enough dairy-free milk to ride out the coming snow storm. I had hours before the snow came and technically I could load everyone up and head back to the store, but all of life was hard, and that seemed really hard.
About that time a friend texted to ask if I needed anything. “Yes I do,” I thought, “I need grapes and non-dairy milk.” In my head these felt frivolous, but they were the most immediate need in front of me, so I told her my needs.
She was happy to help. I was happy for the help.
Sometimes in times of crisis it is hard to know exactly what we need. It is easy to respond to the polite request to help with a blank stare not even knowing where to start, not even knowing how someone could help.
During my miscarriages I wasn’t even sure what I needed. I knew what I wanted. I wanted my babies back. I wanted it to all go away. It wasn’t always clear how asking for a pot of soup would help with that.
I was only 27 when I lost my first baby. I had no experience with sick kids or parents or medical events in my own life. I didn’t really know what I would need in the coming days.
Also, sometimes it feels like we have to come up with a relevant need directly related to the crisis. But, we can’t ignore the important - though often overlooked - needs of everyday life. Providing basic help isn’t transactional or charity-driven. It is an act of friendship to give and receive. To be together and care for each other is essential to our wellbeing.
So in times of need, don’t be afraid to say yes to help.
Emily Carrington is a freelance writer, wife, mother, and founder of the EPLA.