When tragedy strikes a friend or someone gets knocked around by life and is feeling hurt, broken, devastated, crushed, I don't always know what words to say.
And I don't think I'm alone in this.
My words may be inadequate, awkward or flat out wrong, but my heart is in the right place. No matter what my words may sound like to the person suffering a blow or a loss, what I mean is: I care; I hear you; I'm praying for you; I'm hurting for you; I'm here if you need me.
I've seen some articles on the things not to say to someone who has lost a child or a parent or is battling cancer, or has a child with a disability or has lost a job, or is working through fertility issues, etc. posted and shared and commented on. And while I understand where these feelings are coming from, I think that these posts are harsh and just as hurtful as the sentiments that may feel like arrows, but are being expressed out of concern and love.
We all feel and express and process experiences differently. So, even if I have gone through a similar experience, the way I grieved or recovered or overcame may be very different from another. Or maybe I have never experienced what someone is going through and can't begin to imagine how that feels or how to process it, and yet I still care and want my friend to know.
By human nature, we want to reach out. We want to show our concern. We want to offer help and support. And my response may be awkward or poorly thought out or lacking, but it is coming from a place of love and compassion and concern.
We should not judge each other based on our responses to tragedy or heartache or difficulties, regardless of the angle from which we view the upsetting event.
So, if you are hurting and you share this information, please know that no matter what words I express what I mean is I care and I support you and I am praying for you. Over and out…