What do you say?

Photo courtesy of Alen Peric (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Alen Peric (Creative Commons)

Any words sound so hollow.

A dear friend received a terrible diagnosis, and I don’t even know where to begin to find the words.

I’m sorry. I will pray. Maybe something can be done. None of those are comforting.

There are questions, certainly, and discussions of treatment options and all sorts of mundane conversations. There are matter-of-fact statements that sound like they are being read from the pamphlet.

But what really needs to be said?

I am struggling with how to even pray for my friend. Peace and comfort certainly, but my heart is breaking for what he must be going through, and the turmoil in his mind. The uncertainty and dread – and fear. The questions of whether to focus on the life still left or preparing for death. Not to mention my own heartbreak and ache of seeing a friend suffering. And knowing there is nothing I can do to stop that pain.

The words just won’t form. Shriveled up before even forming into complete thoughts. Wisps of hope or longing. Or pain.

You are important to me. You make a difference. I am here for you.

Maybe the silence is important. Just being there to listen. Quietly sharing the pain. Being present but not glossing over the reality.

This will be a journey.

One thought on “What do you say?

  1. I understand this dilemma, but I don’t have a great answer. I struggle with this as well, and I tend to revert to those same cliche sayings. While the cliche words are usually true, they’re not always what is needed or helpful at the time. Like you mentioned, sometimes silence and presence are enough.

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