HOW DO I BALANCE THE NEEDS OF OTHERS WITH MY OWN NEEDS?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I’m torn. I have a rare opportunity for work on the same day of this funeral for one of the closest friends of my parents and I am also one of oldest friends of the daughter of man who passed. I haven’t had much work lately and there’s an audition at the exact same time of the funeral. If I skip the funeral, though, I feel like a bad person and like I’m not there for my friends or my parents. What should I do?

–Torn (Canada)

DEAR TORN:

I understand your dilemma. Could you possibly go to visit with your friend and your parents later in the day after the funeral is over. Or the next day? During the actual funeral, your friend and your parents will be surrounding by other people grieving and they probably will need you even more after the busy-ness of the ceremony is over and the grief and the silence and the loss are really sinking in.

Funerals are ultimately for those who are left, not for the deceased. This man’s spirit will understand and know your love whether you go to the funeral or not. And there are other ways you can minister to and be there for your friend and your parents. Consider giving yourself permission to take care of yourself first, particularly as work has been sparse, and to be there for others the best as you can after you’ve done what you need to do to support yourself.

 

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