Remembering Doria

One Father's Journey after the Death of his Daughter

What Does Help Mean?

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That’s a strange question that I’ve been pondering this week. Especially as a man, what exactly does help mean in something like this? What does help mean after Doria’s death?

Early on, our church and friends from the university went wild providing meals. That was a fantastic help that lasted for a month, and we needed that. We’re functional now, though, and it’s good for us to do that on our own. It seems like that wouldn’t be the handiest thing, and it would just be trouble for everyone. That hasn’t come up. It’s just an example from the beginning of this story.

Guys aren’t known for asking for help. I really dislike it in general, and I have a lifetime of bad experiences after asking for help. I don’t like it, and I’ll avoid it as much as I can. Frequently, I don’t know what other people could do to help me, and I don’t know what help I need. In this case, I honestly don’t know if there’s help that I need or if I’m doing basically OK. Things are happening, I’m functioning, and that’s a pretty large part of being OK.

A book I read this week mentioned, as a piece of advice to other men, not to make the general statement that we make: “When you need something, just call,” but rather just to make suggestions or just do it. That sort of seems handy, but also sounds like a gigantic pain in the neck. It sounds like the sort of thing where the phone is constantly ringing, like it was (and should have) for the first few days after Doria’s death, right up until her funeral. Now, the phone is back to silent, but I tend to like that. I hate telephones. I imagine my e-mail going off like it’s the week before an exam. I don’t want that all the time. II can see a real case there where well-intentioned, good-hearted attempts to help just get in the way of living. That could be a problem.

How does a guy know what he needs in a case like this? How do you know where to go for help, or when you should do it? For me, it’s interesting. Things seem generally OK, as far as they can be. People are available, but certainly not invasive. Maybe that’s fine, or maybe it’s not. It’s interesting.

Since I know that I might need something, but I know that I don’t know what it is (yes, that was fun), it always makes me think of this verse early in James: If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

OK, that question is coming a million times. A couple of you reading this have e-mails coming this week with some fun questions. Really, they’re planned out. Of course, they’ll lead somewhere that I don’t see coming at all. Again 🙂

So, what does help mean? That’s my question for the week.


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