One of the most difficult lessons in being a widow has been becoming comfortable receiving service from others. I have written about this before, but tonight I was shown two new reasons why this is so important.

A dear friend (yes, S, you are dear to me) spoke at a women’s conference I attended this evening. She is a hospice chaplain and talked about how we who are living can: 1. Prepare to be at peace when we die and 2. Be able to live life to its fullest right now. One of the three things she mentioned was being able to receive service and not feel guilty about it. It is okay not to be “useful” to others. It is okay to let others help you. I had never looked at receiving service from those two perspectives before.

Before my husband’s strokes and death, I had a really hard time receiving service from others. As my mother would say, “We kill our own snakes.” If I could do something without injuring myself or others, by golly, I would try. While I did not view receiving help as a sign of weakness, I just didn’t want to bother anyone. Saturday marks two years since my husband’s strokes that would lead to his death ten days later. Two years ago, I started receiving countless acts of service. I learned it was okay to be a “bother” (I really wasn’t. I think.) to others.

I remember one thing another good friend said to me: “After a while, the offers of service are going to diminish, but not the desire to serve you. You need to ask others to help as you need it.” Being able to set pride and my own snake killing aside has made me a more humble person, one who is living life to its fullest. I am so grateful for those who are helping me do that.