Be Present and Available
July and August are months that my friend and I struggle to get through every year. You see, I lost my sister, Pamela, on July 9th, 2001. She died a very tragic death, one that still affects our family to this very day. My friend lost his mother a few years later on July 13, 2004. He was his mother’s primary caregiver and was there with her until the very end. The final moments will remain with my friend forever. And then, a little over a year ago, my friend lost his sister, Julia.
We have tried to go on with our lives, but there is a part of us that our loved ones took with them when they left this earth. We have been forever changed and have been impacted by these precious people that have gone too soon.
What do you say when someone is hurting? How do you comfort them in their time of need? How do you reassure them that everything is going to be okay when you have no way to ensure that it will now that their loved ones have passed away?
I find myself at a loss for words each and every year. I don’t want to be so consumed in my grief that I am not “there” for my friend in what they are going through. If my friend needs me, I want to be there for them. I think the hardest part for me is that I want to “do” something to relieve their pain, and there isn’t a single thing in the world that I can do to accomplish this. It’s unobtainable because they do hurt and their pain is real. There truly is nothing that I can say that will be of any comfort to them, and there isn’t anything I can physically do for them to provide peace and understanding. There’s no gift that I could send that will wipe away their tears.
Through the years, the only thing I have found that I can do is pray for them. I know they’re struggling, whether they say the words or not. My heart feels a special connection to their heart, and when they hurt, I hurt, too. It’s as simple as that. So, I pray. I ask God to provide peace and comfort as only He can. When I’m not physically able to wrap my arms around them due to the distance that we live apart, I ask God to wrap His loving arms around my friend, to draw him close and allow my friend to rest his weary head on God’s shoulder for a little while. I ask for peace to come over my friend, peace that could only be provided by our Heavenly Father. I ask for reassurance that my friend is never truly alone, even if he may feel that way at the moment.
I send my thoughts out into the universe, and I allow my heart to speak to my friend’s heart across the miles. That soft whisper during the evening, that’s my heart calling to his to reassure that he is not alone. He is always in my thoughts and in my heart. Miles may separate us, but hearts that truly care are always near.
The only gift I can think to give at a time like this is to let my friend know that I’m present and available should they need to talk about their loved ones or their feelings at this time. I want my friend to know that I’m always here for them no matter what but especially even more so at this time. On their “tender days” I may not call attention to it by announcing that I know what day it is, but I’m present and available, even if it’s just by sending a silly little smiley face in a blank message. That’s me acknowledging them and letting them know that I’m here.
I know my friend is struggling this week, especially. He normally carries the We Care Wednesday series. Today, I’ve taken this on to relieve him of any pressures he may be feeling at this time.
I’d like to challenge you and call you to action today. On this We Care Wednesday, if there is someone that has been on your heart and mind, will you reach out to them today? It doesn’t have to be a detailed email or a long winded phone conversation. It can just be a “thinking of you” call or “You’re in my thoughts” type of message. The point is to let someone know that you care, that you’re present, even if miles away, and available for them. Will you accept the challenge today, especially if it’s someone you haven’t spoken to in a while?
Another challenge is to consider someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while due to a difference of opinion or a conflict that arose a while back. If something caused you two to part ways, would you consider reaching out at this point? There is no guarantee of how it will turn out once you do, but the point is to put forth the effort to let someone know that you care … after that, it is up to them as to what they do with this gift that you’ve given to them. They can accept it wrapped in a beautiful bow of love, or they can turn away and choose to ignore it as the beautiful bouquet of flowers of your heart wilt. We aren’t in control of what happens or how someone will react, we are only in control of reaching out, putting forth that effort to let the other know that we’re thinking of them and that we care, regardless of the circumstances. All you can do is try … that’s all I ask.
If this is too much for you at this time, I understand. Would you, then, reach out to them through your words of prayer to our Heavenly Father? Will you whisper words of love to our Creator and ask for His hand of protection over their lives?
To my friend that is hurting at this time, I’m here sweetie. I’m available at any time if you need or want to talk, and if not, that’s okay, too. I’ll still be here whispering prayers and words of love from my heart to yours reaching across the miles that separate us … today, tomorrow … always.
August 6, 2014 @ 11:22 am
Prayer changes things. It’s the only thing that helped me get through the grief when my father passed away. Because I have Asperger Syndrome (a form of autism) I was very emotionally dependent on my father. Not to mention the financial dependence. But the grief caused me to turn to God eventually and that is what helped.
I pray for you and your friend and hope God comforts you.
August 6, 2014 @ 3:54 pm
Aww, sweetie, thank you for reaching out today and sharing what you have in your comment. It means a lot when others share their stories as well. Bless you. I cannot begin to imagine how hard that was on you when you lost your father. I’m not sure how long ago that was, but I’m praying for you and know that God will help you through all of this.
August 6, 2014 @ 1:39 pm
Loss of a love one is never easy. Being there as a friend is the best. Listen and love them.
August 6, 2014 @ 3:52 pm
So true, Tara. Lots of times they just need someone to be there to listen and love on them!
August 6, 2014 @ 4:59 pm
Prayer makes tremendous power available, dynamic in it’s working! So glad that God’s mercy is new every morning and the Holy Spirit is our comforter and helper and my prayer is that you and your friends are comforted today! God bless!
August 6, 2014 @ 5:49 pm
Alli, I am so glad I met you! You are an awesome lady, and I enjoy your blog. I also enjoy all of the comments where you share your wisdom and words of praise for our Heavenly Father.
August 6, 2014 @ 5:46 pm
Praise God that we know that we’ll see our saved loved ones again one day. I lost my Dad when I was 17, so I understand the feeling of loss. Great article and tips for those going through it. Shared this one!
August 6, 2014 @ 5:48 pm
Aww, thank you, Jamie, for sharing the post! I appreciate that very much. I’m so sorry that you lost your father at such a young age. 🙁 But there is blessed assurance, as you said, that we will be reunited with our loved ones … one sweet day!
Madison | Wetherills Say I Do
August 7, 2014 @ 8:59 am
What a sweet and thoughtful post! Sometimes prayer is all we can do for a friend and that can be so powerful even though it doesn’t feel like we are really “doing” anything!
August 7, 2014 @ 11:31 am
So very true, Madison! So very true!