“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~ Leo Buscaglia
Ben and I met a close girlfriend for coffee yesterday. We’re each going through quite a lot with our families right now. We have family members confronting serious illness, and our friend has elderly parents in poor health – her Dad’s had a series of strokes and is in care, and her mum’s across town in another hospital after a hip replacement failure and major surgery to repair it.
Life is like this sometimes. It all happens at once. Big things, small things, out-of-the-blue things all raining down upon us.
Our friend cried as she told us of her dad’s worsening dementia and how heart-breaking it is for her to see him in this place of loss and confusion. I cried a little too as we updated her on our family, and on some of the other heart-breaking issues I’m helping a few of my clients through.
None of us had answers for each other and we didn’t even try. What mattered was that we could talk about our feelings, we could be honest about all the things raining down upon us, and the things we’d stuffed up as well as the things we’d handled well.
We didn’t just talk about the hard stuff. We laughed a lot. We reminisced. We held space together as friends. We held each other’s hands. We sat in silence when silence was called for.
Sometimes that’s all we need. Just a safe space where we feel heard – where we can unbottle all of the things we’ve held inside.
If you have a friend or family member going through a tough time right now, don’t feel that you need to have a solution for them. One of the most precious gifts you can give them is time, friendship and a non-judgemental space where they can talk about what they are going through.
Know that they may also prefer to talk about every other thing than their cancer, their husband’s depression, or the terrible thing that happened/is happening.
Life will give all of us hardship or difficulty at one turn or another. Friendship, a shoulder to cry one, someone to make you laugh, someone to remind you that you are not your illness, someone who truly listens – that’s what helps us to get through the hard bits.
Wishing you smooth sailing or good friends today.
Know that you are ever in my thoughts and prayers,
Much love, Nicole <3 xoxo