My wife was involved in a strange incident, where a puck hit her between the eyes at a hockey game. It led to hospitalization and surgery. She is largely recovered from the event but it was a painful process.
Some of the pain came from impact, surgery, nasal splints, and trying to get pain under control.
Some of the pain was having grandkids seeing their grandma hurt, bleeding, and shuffled off to the emergency department.
Some of the pain were the “what ifs” of how inches or feet could have been truly catastrophic.
Some of the pain has been financial, even though we are incredibly grateful for good health insurance.
But in the midst of pain, there is comfort. Calls, notes, and messages from friends and family. Flowers that provided a focus of color and care. We had unexpected meals and gift cards delivered. Prayers for healing and for her well-being were felt and appreciated.
And I learned a few things in this journey.
First, my wife is tough. Like Super-Woman tough.
I also learned to only give out what people want to know or see and let them control how much. My youngest son sent a text, “Thanks for the updates, stop sending pictures.” Leaving things to the imagination is okay.
Sometimes things happen. My oldest son was really great at the hockey event, getting his mom cared for and then delivered to the hospital. Seated closest to his mom, it took a bit to get over what he or we could have done to prevent this. The answer is nothing. Sometimes things happen.
It reminded me not to one up. We had a few messages with the tone – I had it worse or someone I know had it worse. When you’ve had an inch and a half laceration repaired, multiple nasal fractures, nasal splints that seemed to touch the back of the skull, and facial colors of the rainbow, it’s just not the time. Say, I’m sorry this happened to you. Period.
There isn’t always a good answer to, “Let us know what we can do.” I am on-board with allowing people to help, it’s healthy for the giver and the receiver. But sometimes giving and receiving, “We’re OK right now” is an appropriate answer. It doesn’t diminish the offer.
Keep checking in with messages and contacts after the healing. Not only the day after, but a week or month after. Restoration continues after the bruising is gone and the sutures have healed.
Mostly, I learned and am grateful that we have a village of support.