There are people who have kind of gone away since Michael's diagnosis and my dad's death. I understand that. We all do what we can do.
One woman who I have worked with on a volunteer basis for a few years recently responded to a message I sent her. In her response, she asked about my family. I told her about Michael and about the recent death of my dad. A week has gone by and she hasn't responded, even though I've seen posts of hers on Facebook.
For a few days, I felt hurt. And that didn't make much sense, since I believe - in my head, anyway - that people do what they can do. I haven't always been perfect at supporting people when they were going through hard times.
Today, I realized that, even though it seemed justified and harmless, I was placing expectations on someone while not having a clue whether or not that person was going through something hard also.
So I wrote this person a card, telling her that she was in my thoughts and expressing my gratitude for the qualities I admire in her. It was important that I only did this with no expectation of anything in response and with absolutely no ulterior motives - like wanting to induce guilt. I knew I had to do it with true appreciation and best wishes for this person.
I could do that.
Right now, I feel a sweetness toward this woman.
And I feel free.