Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What to Say When Words Are Not Enough

There have been many times in my life when no matter what I say to someone who is suffering, I know it will not be enough.
I have several friends who are suffering these past weeks and months and even longer.

I say the usual things, of course. "I'll keep you in my heart and prayers." "If you need to vent, I'm only a few keystrokes away."

I might email. I might send a card. But I know in my heart that no matter what I say, it will not be enough.

The truth is - there are many times when no matter what we say to someone in that type of situation, we know it is not enough.

The answer to my own question of what to say is simply this: say what I can; say what I mean; and simply make it plain that I care and I sympathize and I am there.

We can't always physically help our friends and loved ones. But sometimes they feel better just knowing someone is trying to understand what they are going through.

When I went through 24 weeks of weekly chemo during my Stage 3 Colon Cancer treatments, and also had to deal with one year of a colostomy before that was reversed, folks said many things to try to help. The cancer had already made it into my lymph system. There wasn't much they could do. But just knowing folks cared made all the difference in the world to me.

Yes, there were days and nights when I just didn't want "to play any longer" and I wanted to just say, "Stop already! No more IVs, no more fluids going into my body, no more needle pokes to take blood out for tests. No more!"

Then I'd remember all those who cared and I'd take a deep breath and I'd try another day, and another, and another. That was way back at (are you ready for this?) the turn of the century - I can't believe I am old enough to say that!!!

That is where I'll leave this one, I think. I am actually laughing at that - the fact that I can say I experienced something at the turn of the century. There are quite a few of you reading this who can say that, too - so smile, my friends! 

And say good and caring things to anyone you feel drawn to say it to, and just let it be. It is never enough - and yet, it is enough. Just care.

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