“Fixing” People

I’ve mentioned my second cousin before, the one with lymphoma. Chemo didn’t work, and he’s Stage IV. There’s not much else they can do other than just help him ride it out until the end I guess.

He actually wrote a Facebook post about what was happening with him. Reading it was such a beautiful thing because he is truly a beautiful human being. He talked about how lucky he was to be so loved, and there was a certain level of acceptance that death would take him sooner rather than later.

It hurts that genuinely good people get taken so early. As Kurt Vonnegut says, “So it goes.”

This part of my reality has me thinking a lot, and not just about life.

My ex-friend. I never wanted to “fix him.” Fixing people feels too much like force, and while I can get a bit bossy, force isn’t my kind of thing. I always wish I knew why he felt that way because it was never my intent.

What was it that I wanted? To be his safe space, his sounding board, the person that helped him escape and feel something at least close to happiness. I wanted to be his antidote to the poison of his life. I wanted to take care of him and keep him going.

I think ultimately, those things are capable of fixing a person. But the individual has to put in the effort to become this “fixed” version of themselves. You can’t do that work for them, but you can certainly remind them that you are present should they need you.

I don’t know why, but I couldn’t just tell him, “I want to be here when you need me.”

Yet, that’s exactly what I feel. That’s how I always loved him. I wanted to help him help himself. That’s all.

Sometimes, simple emotional things are so hard to articulate.



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