Watching someone you love in pain is very, very hard.
And it’s natural that people want to say something or do something to try to ease the burden.
They might offer a story illustrating that it “could be worse” or rush past an expression of sorrow by changing the subject or even compliment me on “how well I am doing”.
But none of those things makes me feel better.
The most powerfully validating thing that anyone can say to me is, ” I’m here and I’m sorry”.
I’m sorry for your pain.
I’m sorry that life is not what you expected.
I’m sorry that there is no way to undo the things that have happened and no way to shorten the years you have to live with remembering them.
But I’m here with you and I won’t leave you alone, even when I feel helpless.
Acknowledgement without trying to reframe my experience into something you can understand or accept is the greatest gift you can give my hurting heart.