Everyone has different reactions to loved ones who have been diagnosed with medical conditions, and there is really no right or wrong reaction. It just "is what it is.” Just like we learn in different ways, people react in different ways, and it can be difficult for people to move beyond a certain place. It's not often easy to understand, but when you let go of your expectations, you will find that you have less confusion and frustration.
From my personal experience these are the various ways in which people have reacted:
The Savior – This person will be by your side at all times and do everything they can for you. They are almost always strong in front of you, but they may have a moment or two where they break down with you. They want to be your savior.
The Emotional – They are just so overwhelmed with the situation. They want to be there but they are too emotional and they don’t want to get you upset. They try to be strong in front of you, but they are just having a hard time accepting it. You may find that they come and go because they need to have alone time just to regroup.
The Checker-inners – They check in often and do things for you like cook meals, send cards, and call for updates. They offer to help in any way that they can.
The Out-of-the-woodworkers – They are people that you have not seen in a long time, but they come out of the woodwork to help. It could be your longtime friend that you lost touch with just because life got in the way. They reach out wanting to help and do anything to help. Rekindling old friendships is a great advantage of going through a tough time.
The Retreater – They don’t know what to say or do so they just retreat. They may check in when they can, but they keep their distance for the most part. Some may carry guilt because they have a hard time being around. This is a tough one because it is hard to really know what someone is thinking or feeling.
The "Whatever it takes” – This person is the can-and-will-do-everything-and-anything-for-you person. They have, at times, put their life on hold for the most part and are there any way that they can be. They are the person you can lean on at all times.
You may be wondering why I am writing about this today? I think it's important for people to understand the different ways in which people will react, and we shouldn't be hurt if they react in ways we didn't expect. Just know that people have a great heart and want to be there, but for whatever reason, their reaction may be different than what you expect!Please share if you have experienced another personality during a difficult time. It may be helpful to someone in the future.