It can be hard to accept help. We want to be strong, we want to believe we can do it all, but there are moments in every single person’s life when that’s just not true.
On those days, there are usually people who will make an offer to help. And honestly, you shouldn’t be too big of a person to let them.
These 14 people weren’t, and most of the results were fairly magical!
14. You find out who your friends are.
When my brother died, a guy at work (for lack of a better term) said that, and initially, while we were in the same area, he was hooking me up with music, and would listen together from the obvious (like Evanescence) to distracting (tech nine). Once, I was feeling really down and depressed, and these types of thoughts come up more at night, and I texted at like 10 PM, and he was up watching a movie, and texted back saying ‘I was serious’ and we just texted for a half hour or so about what movie he was watching (it helped to take my mind off the death for a little bit, plus there’s not a lot you could really do for someone that late).
He kept assuring me I could text any time, day or night, and he’d answer as soon as he could. I kept testing it. I once texted him while I was in church and he talked me through some meditation (I thought church would help me when he died. I was wrong. It made it worse). I did even text him once at two in the morning, and while he didn’t write back (he was asleep), he got back to me as soon as he saw I’d texted him, and said not to feel guilty about it.
And it wasn’t just texting. A lot of it was I wanted hugs (after the funeral, no one hugs you. It’s like they give you a wide berth like death is contagious and you’re a carrier), and he’d hug me no question. The first time I hugged him, I just broke and cried, and he never tried to push me away even when I was leaving tears and snot on him.
You know the person who can see you ugly cry and not get freaked out (or at least keep their wits about them) is rare and awesome. And this was all extremely helpful at the time, because my immediate family lived a ways away, I had a two year old, and most people near me were using religious platitudes to try and placate me, and it made it worse, and acting like their responsibilities ended with a casserole or a plate of cookies.
13. Even kids can help.
A family friend of ours owned two restaurants at the time and one was local and very hidden so only locals really went. During this year, a young girl in town had cancer and needed to raise money for treatment. They decided to do a pancake breakfast fundraiser at the restaurant that day, where all proceeds would go to the girls family.
My family and a friend of mine (we were 12) came and ate pancakes, and the place got really busy because the news team came by to report on it. It was getting to be too much for the owners so my siblings, friend and I asked if there was anything we could do to help. I didn’t know if I could because we were young but we offered.
At first they didn’t want us to worry but we insisted and they asked if we could wait on tables and handle the dishes. We were there all day, and practically dropped dead when we got home. But in the end they raised more than enough for the treatment, so it was a success.
12. That’s a story for the kids!
I was sick with the flu and had a 104 fever and was complaining about how miserable I was to a friend of mine and how I was thinking about going to the emergency room because nothing was helping.
He told me to let him know if I needed anything. I asked if he would come with me to the hospital. He hopped into his car and drove 25 miles to pick me up and take me to the emergency room. He then stayed with me for 6 hours and helped me when I needed to use the bathroom and everything because I was so sick I couldn’t help myself.
Fast forward 3 years and we have been dating for 2.5 years and just moved in together this past March. The care I saw the night that he came through for me as a friend opened my eyes to how kind and caring he was and led to me eventually asking him out on a date.
Best flu ever.
11. Do as I do…
I’m a chef and I had a wine dinner with a special paired 5 course menu. My salesperson f*cked up very badly and forgot to put my order in, so it wasn’t picked that morning as it should have been. I called her asking where the hell my food was and she was being a twat about it as usual, trying to blame it on me.
I sent her a screen shot of the order I’d put in the pervious day, screamed at her to get me my order within the hour or I’d switch vendors, and started prepping everything I could without the product from that truck.
She showed up a lil while later with the order shoved in her car and her husband, guess they’d been out together some where eating lunch when I’d so rudely interrupted. He was a chef at a different restaurant and we knew each other vaguely.
He asked if there was anything he could do to help and I of course said, no no I got it, but was clearly very harried, ripping into boxes trying to put the order away quickly so I could get to work. He stopped me and said, Seriously, give me something to do.
So I reluctantly asked him to make me a dressing and gave him a list of things I needed chopped. He tied on an apron and started prepping with such a big smile and a great attitude and it really calmed me down. He was only there for about 45 minutes or so, but just his chill breeziness helped me take a breath and refocus.
I was a new chef at the time and took things a little too seriously. I’ve tried to emulate his calm demeanor and can do attitude with my cooks ever since.
10. Just be kind.
I was neglected as a kid and would sleep over at my friends house often. She was in college and I was still in high school but her family welcomed me into their home whenever I needed a place to stay. I remember the mother always packed me a lunch for school and welcomed me with such warmth and kindness.
As a kid many people (sometimes people I barely knew) have been so incredibly kind to me and as an adult I always make sure everyone in my life knows I am here to help with whatever they need (even people I barely know).
9. Let people do the nice thing.
I’ve had a few important people die over the last few years and well meaning people will often say “let me know if there’s anything I can do to help” without realizing that it’s so unlikely that someone in that position will have the ability to articulate a simple enough need or favor that they’d feel comfortable requesting, especially considering that I’d get those messages from people I barely knew. What favors do you ask someone you barely know when they ask, especially when it feels like your whole world just fell apart. Where do you start?
Some people are great at talking to someone when they’re grieving though, and they’ll volunteer specific actions in more of an “I insist” kind of way rather than leaving the brunt of the decision making up to me. One such person reached out to me a few weeks ago when my mother died and specifically wanted to help me with groceries or items I needed.
My dad and I are both struggling with stuff like that, and honestly what bothers me more than a lack of groceries is a lack of the ability to help my dad when we’re both grieving the loss of the most important person in our life. So I asked her if she could help my dad with some of his favorite groceries. The next day she texted me the delivery window (I requested this so I could carry them for him since his knees aren’t great) and sure enough, 4 or 5 bags of groceries and a huge bag of dog food showed up at his front door.
It made me feel so good to rally anyone around him other than myself, even for a moment. I am used to feeling this kind of pain but I can’t stand the thought of him going through it too, so it was much easier to accept help on his behalf.
8. I wonder what she did mean.
I had to get rabies shots once after being bitten by a dog on a hiking trail. I didn’t react well and felt like I had a bad cold for a few weeks. I told my boss that that’s why I seemed less energetic, and she told me to let her know if there was anything she could do.
I asked if I could head home early because I wasn’t feeling well, and she sternly said “that’s not what I meant”.
Don’t know why she even bothered offering to help if she wouldn’t let me go a couple hours early.
7. He should tell her!
Maybe not exactly like your post says but I realized one of my friends was a true friend when she remembered the times I had helped her on college homework/projects. She mentioned those times and decided to pay it back by buying me a meal when I had no money. Couple months later I simply asked if she had time to talk while I was going through some stuff with my gf at the time and she was more than willing to do so. As a matter of fact, she started calling me before I had even been able to see her reply back saying “yes I can talk right now”.
That’s really when I knew how genuine of a friend she is. We still FaceTime every now and then about deeper/personal stuff going on but I know that she is very genuine and probably one of the most real people I’ve met so far. I’m not sure if she knows it but I really appreciate her a lot and I’m very thankful I’ve had her to talk to whenever. Even when she didn’t know I had been going through some stuff, just simply talking helped.
So I guess it was one of those things where simply asking to talk when I had been in a bad place turned out to be rewarding and realized she’s a lot more great than I thought and of course I Return the favor.
On another note, I usually tend to be the one that helps out if someone is struggling. Giving back is important sometimes. I’ve stayed late at college a few times just helping out friends. It was honestly kinda emotional for me when that friend that I mentioned reminded me of the time I helped her out.
6. Everyone likes to be useful.
It was my partner’s best friend’s wedding day and he was best man. I had let them know that I was there to help with anything they needed as I was not part of the bridal party, but was there early.
There was an issue where the venue’s music system was broken and they were absolutely frantic about it as it would have spoiled the ceremony. I suggested I could quickly blast home, pick up our CD playing speaker unit and use that.
I ended up being the person to be making sure the music came on/went off at the right time for the ceremony and it all ran totally smoothly! They were super grateful and I was very happy to have been useful.
5. Modern friendship.
Close buddy went onto my Facebook and blocked my ex, removed all pictures/posts/references of us, changed my profile picture, all that good stuff.
4. Love this story.
When I worked for a psychiatric hospital, we had a patient that had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a permanent state of psychosis as a result. She had a history of violence and had been passed around so many group homes that it took us more than 100 days to find another placement for her.
This person had nothing and no one other than a public guardian. Over time, we built trust and rapport with her. Episodes of violence dwindled down to zero. We all pitched in to bring her clothes, beauty supplies, and other essentials to make her long admission more bearable. When we finally did find her placement in a group home that was more than two hours away, we took time to drive down and visit her regularly until she’d adjusted to her new home and staff.
Last I heard, she’s doing great, and is now deemed stable enough to come and go from her home as she pleases.
3. People don’t forget.
A friend of mine and I worked in the same office for years and years. We didn’t really start out as friends, just sort of talked outside while smoking on our breaks. Her boyfriend died in a fire that destroyed their home and she turned into a single mother of a baby overnight. Without mentioning it to her, I started asking around for clothing and items she would need immediately to help take care of her baby. A lot of people donated stuff and when I gave her the boxes, she teared up.
After that, I decided to bring in more than I would actually eat for lunch and would casually tell her, “I’m full, you want the other half of my sandwich?” Eventually she caught on and thanked me. I was of the mind that if I was in a position to help, I would. Never really expected anything in return. I just knew things were tight and she made sure he kid had something to eat even if she had to skip meals. So, yeah. Fast forward a few years and the company we’re working for starts laying people off. (She had already left and found employment elsewhere.)
I decided to file for disability (after being diagnosed with a handful of issues that made working rather painful and difficult) and my severance had run out. She found out and made it a point to randomly stop by and drop off cigarettes or a few groceries she knew I would need. She told me I’d helped her at her lowest, she was just returning the favor.
To me, that’s what true friendship is. You help when you can; and accept help when you need it. There shouldn’t be any shame in that sort of give and take.
2. Everyone needs friends like these.
My BFF of many years always had a standing agreement; “If you need anything, just call.”
Thirteen years ago, I called them in tears. My house was on fire, and my pets were trapped inside. My BFF and her mom immediately dropped everything and raced over. The house was a total loss, and sadly my two cats didn’t make it, but anything they were asked to do: get water for the people trying to salvage from the ruins, run the one cat that was pulled alive from the fire to the emergency vets, and taking my roomies and I up to Walmart at 1:30 am to buy us some bare necessities.
Ten years later, it was my turn. During heavy rains their finished basement flooded with four inches of water. I dragged my carcass out of bed stupidly early and ran to help clean up. BFF’s parents are heart patients and can’t do any heavy physical labor, so over the next few days, my friend and I moved furniture, tore out waterlogged carpet, and ripped up warped wood flooring. Insurance took over from there, and we both hoped that we’d never have to help each other out like that ever again.
1. Most people are, on days like those.
This was at my mother’s Celebration of Life last June. There were tons of cousins and extended family I’d only met once or twice, but I was “in charge” of the event so I chatted nicely with almost everybody. Plenty of people told me, “you’re running around so fast, let me know if you need help!” I smile and shake my head and move on because, you know, I got this.
But my sister had gotten delayed so she didn’t have time to mold her mints. At the same time, there were 4 kids running around that I was trying to wrangle and I was notified that both bathroom trash cans were overflowing. So I found the two people who had most enthusiastically offered to help and gave them tasks. It was perfect, the one I thought was a cousin at the time even stepped up to help with a couple more things after the mints were finished!
I have literally no idea who either of these people are, even now, but I am extremely grateful they were willing to pitch in.
Sometimes people restore your faith humanity, don’t they?
Has anything like this ever happened to you? If so, share the story with us in the comments!