This beautiful bouquet of flowers was delivered to me last week from a former client. A client I supported for nearly three years. Both parties intentionally wanted the divorce proceeding to go that long. The curious part about the delivery was that I had closed her file the year before and never in the three years that I worked for her had she been overly enthusiastic about my representation. When I called to thank her for her thoughtful, generous gesture, she said simply that she had been thinking about me and how much I helped her through that hard time. I confess, it makes me weepy recalling it.
This kind act made me reflect on how impaired our senses, our intuition and our instincts can be during times of acute stress – like when going through a divorce. Often, a year or so after the divorce, I get a random thank you note in the mail or in an update of happier times. I will then receive acknowledgments of how I supported.
In my own personal experience, my decree was entered in September. It wasn’t until December when it finally dawned on me to at least write notes and give tokens of thanks to those co-workers who carried me, to my mom who cared for me, to my best friend of 25 years who called me every single day for months, and to friends who made me laugh through weekly check-in texts. It isn’t that I didn’t appreciate the support in the moment, but it isn’t until we have stepped far away from those most challenging of days that we finally are able to look around, pull our head up out of the sand and see those who saved us during that time.
I am not writing this post to add guilt to those grieving and to add a “to-do” for the long list of things to be done while going through transition. I write more for those of you supporting loved ones in their time of need. Remember you are appreciated, even though you may never actually hear the millions of times your name will be whispered toward heaven in utter gratitude. Stay steady with your support; it is needed more than ever, more than you will ever realize or will ever be expressed. It is in those silent times that support is needed most. And you may not end up with a bouquet of flowers a year later, but you will certainly have helped someone restore their own bloom.