This morning I received two emails within 5 minutes of each other, from friends asking for advice on how to deal with a difficult situation. The first one wrote that her best friend’s husband was dying from cancer. The second one shared that her friend’s husband had been shot and killed yesterday. Both women were asking the question “How can I be there for my friend”?
Who am I to give an answer to something like this? Yet they asked, and I felt a need to reach out with whatever I could. They gave me the opportunity to do what they were each trying to do- reach out and be there for a friend.
For the first one, I wanted to jump into my “fix it” mode and offer suggestions on healing even though I’m sure that’s not what she was asking. She was asking a simple question and I was off fixing something else. It’s almost like the second email had to arrive for me to understand the question. “How can I be there for my friend in the best way?”
Ironically, my best friend lost her 9-month old child about 10 years ago to Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She and I were together with him when he passed away. I did the only thing I knew how to do- love her. I asked her each day what I could do to make her life easier and support her. Some days it was to just sit and hold her hand. Other days it was hold her as she cried. Eventually it was talk with her after his passing about organ donation, burial arrangements, notifying family and friends, and any other details that needed to be handled. It was the hardest job I’ve ever had- to see someone you love so much go through so much pain and not be able to fix it.
From that experience, the best thing I can share with you is love. Love is always intricately woven in the answer to any question. What would love do? Love would be there for your friend and let her know she’s not alone. Love would let her cry and dry her tears. Love would allow her to release her anger. Love would give her hope for her life even now after he’s gone. Love will eventually help her to forgive.
Love will remind her that everything is a part of life and that she is still here to live and celebrate each day. And even though she may not be able to see that right now, love will show her the way through the eyes of a friend like you.
We never know how short or long our time here will be, which is what makes it even more important to enjoy each and every moment of it. Call a friend that you love today and share your heart with them. Let them know how much you love and appreciate them. Be there for them now and everyday.
We all embody love so deeply. Love is what we are, love is who we are. If we listen to our hearts, we know the right thing to do at the right time to be there for the friends in our lives, and we are both richer for it. Let us be examples to one another and constant reminders of the meaning of unconditional love.
My thoughts and love are with you all today. Go celebrate the amazing being that you are and the incredible gift of life that we have in front of us today.