When there's nothing to say

Some moments, some events just leave you speechless. There are no words of comfort that can help, there are no pats on the back or phrases of encouragement that can heal a broken heart, a wounded spirit, a battered soul. There are times when we have friends and loved ones who lose their way or lose their mate or lose their smile; it's those times when we most want to help that we find ourselves the most out of sorts and out of words. We think we have to say the right thing or do the right thing, but the truth is, we just need to be who we are as best we can for the other person. And the other truth is, having been there ourselves, having been hurt or dismayed or distraught or in despair, having been to hell and having crawled back, having been bruised and battered and betrayed, we know what it's like and we know what to do and we know that just being there means more than saying the right thing.

It's the times when others are hurting that we can look back on our past and realize, at least part of the reason that we went through what we did, is so that we could be there for others. There are times when just sitting with someone, listening to them, talking or not, being funny or not, crying or not, is just the right thing to do.

Because having been broken-hearted or lost ourselves allows us to remember and empathize with someone else. Having the depths of our souls bared open and having learned from and healed from our past, we are better able to be with others, to sit with them and accept them exactly as they are in whatever state they're in. Having been hurt and having recovered, we can remind them that things may seem desperate but all is not lost; they are not alone, they can be who they are and feel what they do and act however they wish and it's all acceptable and it's all appropriate and it's all just part of the process. We can sit with them and we don't need to offer an explanation and we don't need to try to find a justification and we don't need to tell them or say anything at all. We can just be there. We can listen. We can cry. We can sit silently by and in so doing we can let them feel it all and experience it all, and through it all they will be supported and loved. They will not be alone because we are there. And there is no greater gift we can give.

This is the life.
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