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  • Writer's pictureK Madhuri

Friendship under the Weather

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

Last week the infamous virus chose to visit my family. Despite our hostility, we had no option but to host it. But I must acknowledge the guest for teaching me a few very valuable lessons.

While the general module was accessible to all of us and taught us the Importance of health and relationships, the custom module was unlocked for me only on payment of premium, the first-hand experience of Covid 19.


A week is a long long time to learn and I have a notebook full of reflections but I will just share the juice of it.


I decoded the mystery of ' what is love?'! I now see love essentially as a combination of care, support, empathy and reliability. It could be constrained by capacity, but only to a limited extent! Remove any of these elements and love becomes a noun, an idea. And at this age and stage of my life, I have this absolute clarity that I prefer it to be a verb, an action minus the rush of passion and adventure which I looked for as an adolescent.


My extended family members and friends inquired about our health and wanted to know what we would do. I heard curiosity recklessly masked in care and I couldn't care less!

Then there were those who texted saying "let us know if you need anything". I couldn't trust most of them and an attempt was enough to convert my intuition to data!


Then there were the friends and family ready with advice: thankfully I lived in a city and had access to doctors, so this didn't meet my need for consideration or empathy. I wished that before they called me they had taken a moment to connect with what I might be needing: some space, ease and a silent prayer.


Then there was another category of people who thought it best to ignore the diagnosis and get me involved in contributing, just bombarding me with demands!! But they couldn't match the authenticity and intensity of my 'bad weather' connections! I wonder how they always have only bad news to share. X is ill, y had an accident, z lost his job..... and then there is a very kind and compassionate request, call them.. pray for them.. let them stay with you for a while, motivate them etc.


Here I am coughing and sneezing, worrying about how to tackle the housekeeping and the family's health through this debilitating weakness and you expect me to pray for random people and world peace? ( sneer, sneer.. :( )


I couldn't find the gift beneath my irritation without connecting to my gratitude and to my met needs. A couple of my friends sent home-cooked food and it felt like a huge blessing, but what mattered more was the intention to care. There were no multiple telephone calls or endless text messages, a simple text " I left food at your door, take it ": it met many of my needs like care, support, ease, consideration, space, trust etc. I learnt that I just needed some space, rest, ease and consideration: a short text of empathic inquiry or a get well soon prayer would have served me well. Any authentic offer of support would have caused an overflow of joy but the calls to satisfy curiosity and tick off as formality drained the life energy out of me and left me worse.


I learnt that respecting others humanity does not mean letting them stomp on my space, I am responsible for meeting my needs and I need to set my boundaries and make them clear. I need not respond to all calls with " Oh yes I am doing OK, thank you so much and I will definitely let you know when I need something ".


So I learnt to choose my health over those friendships and let them be 'under the weather'. I learnt that for a deeper connection with myself , I can opt temporarily or even permanently out of some 'fair weather' or 'bad weather' or ' under the weather' relationships!! And finally, I learnt that whatever be the weather, I can create my own sunshine.


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5 Comments


Kapil
Kapil
Jan 26, 2022

My family and I had Covid last week. It helped to have people around me who knew how to hold space. I resonate with how unasked advice and inquiry can feel overbearing and unnecessary and the need for setting boundaries.

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K Madhuri
K Madhuri
Jan 17, 2022

I am so glad you could relate to your gifts of lovely family members and found it relevant.

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shivangi dave
shivangi dave
Jan 17, 2022

I totally relate to this. In the past month, I have been reflecting a lot on my pent feelings with friendships and how they have revealed themselves in this covid period. I expressed my feelings with an 'under the weather' friend of mine and recieved a very cold /professional sounding response from her. It felt fake sweet and meaningless. That day I decided not to anymore invest my time in this friendship and if she really cared about nurturing it then she will get back. But I'm still struggling to not have any expectations and reach out to hash it out further.


Thankyou for sharing your story.

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K Madhuri
K Madhuri
Jan 17, 2022
Replying to

My heart reaches out to you. Sending you Love.

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Jyoti rana
Jyoti rana
Jan 17, 2022

This is so overwhelming. Last week I had got this and I can very well connect to your words and thoughts. Though I had the awesome love of my MIL who cooked not 3 but 4-5 meals for me on my request at random hours. and my husband who took care of me so well that he ended up getting it too at the end.

but there were those so called friends also who didn’t care enough to call but surely pinged me on day 4 when my WhatsApp status reminded them of same.

Thank you for writing this. Going to forward it to many for all different reasons. :)

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