Last week I was in daze, a category 5 hurricane hit the island of St. John and I couldn’t get in touch with my dad. I had not idea if he was alive, had food or water, a house, how his friends faired and I also didn’t know how to help. Everything was unsettled and scary. Yet my kids still had to go school. Groceries had to be bought. My son had his 5th birthday. Life happens whether you’re in the mood for it or not.
Everything turned out to be okay for my dad but this was a gentle reminder that you never know what someone is going through: their marriage could be falling apart, they could have a sick parent, be struggling with an illness you can’t see. For me it felt so strange to be doing mundane life tasks with these ever looping thoughts about how my dad is doing racing through my brain. Making small talk at school pick up felt like a huge feat. Not crying when someone asked how my day was at the checkout line was harder. Everything felt bigger and harder then it was.
I also get that people have been through worse. People have actually lost their parents. People who suffer with depression or mental illness may feel like this a lot of the time. It’s a hard place to be but we will all be in these situations from time to time. I don’t really have any words of wisdom except to be kind. To everyone. As much as possible. You never know what their going through and we’re all going to go through some shit. When my life is fine, I just assume everyone else’s is. I forget that the universe doesn’t hand out ‘oh fuck’ cards at the same time. So if someone needs support or is distant or bit of an asshole: remember they might be going through something you don’t know about.
Also, remember the acts of kindness that were given to you in your moments. I had so many people reach out and try to help put me in touch with my dad. People I didn’t even know. So many people donated to St. John Rescue fund. There are good people and great acts of kindness in these moments. As that sweet piece of ass Mr. Rogers said so beautifully, “Look for helpers”. They are there.