My dad was admitted to the hospice house for the second time. Throughout this journey we’re on, I find myself continuing to reflect on many life lessons along the way.
The greatest of these is the understanding that being vulnerable is not a weakness, but a strength.
In the past, I did not want to show that part of myself to the world. I was too concerned about what they would think. But with wanting to “feel all the feels,” I really don’t have a choice but to allow the emotions to flow.
By showing my vulnerability, I’m being an example to those around me. It’s okay to show up as yourself, to show everyone the real you. This does not always come easy to me.
When I first saw him today sleeping, he looked like he had aged multiple years in the matter of a week. It hit me that I’m witnessing what could be the last few days of his life.
Part of me wanted to go toward him, where the other part of me wanted to hold back and stay safe (aka keep my emotions in check).
Back at the house visiting with Mom and my parents’ caregiver, I was reminded of the importance of touch and speaking to the loved one even if you think they’re not listening.
I knew what I had to do when I went back down to see him.
I fully embraced our time together by showing my love through touch and sharing with him. By opening myself up to my vulnerability in this way, I could let him know that we have each other, we will take care of Mom, and we want him to do what he needs to do to be in a peaceful place.
I will never forget the way he looked at me as I spoke. Through all the confusion he’s experiencing, I knew we had connected when I saw a small tear start to form at the corner of his eye.
Showing my vulnerability (especially in this situation of such pain) is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but I know that this is where my growth will occur.
The world is an uncertain place. Our private lives can be rocked by uncertainty. We all want to have our lives planned out and “not knowing” can be very uncomfortable. Being vulnerable goes hand-in-hand with uncertainty.
Recently, I shared some thoughts about Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. I admire how Rachel was willing to be so vulnerable in sharing many private parts of her life. The depth to which she goes inspires me to share more of my story.
Watching someone at the end of their life is a great reminder that all we can really do is let our lives unfold, embracing all the uncertainty and vulnerability that comes with it.
Do you have a hard time being vulnerable with others? Go ahead and let me know in the comments below.
As always, should you have any questions or want to connect, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.