We don’t mean to speak words that echo like a whistle in an empty auditorium.
But we do.
We open our mouths and pour out platitudes because that’s what’s been poured into us.
But we need to stop. We need to listen.
And then we need to respond to the heart that stands before us and not to our need to shut down and shut up and shut out another person’s pain.
It’s hard to choose compassion. It’s hard to lean in and listen well. It’s hard to let our hearts get all tangled up with someone else’s when we could just walk away.
I am well aware that you have a life of your own full of drama, daily duties and demands. I don’t want to drain you dry.
But I might need just a moment of your time and a bit of your courage to make it through my own darkness and despair.
One REAL word.
“I’m sorry. That is awful.”
“I hate that you have this heavy burden.”
“How can I pray for you?”
“I don’t know what to say, but I want you to know I’m here and not going anywhere.”
4 thoughts on “Hollow Words”
I’m down to London from my home 200 miles north to visit a friend who’s partner of 25 years died over the summer.
She came up to us the day after his funeral and we willingly gathered her in to give her space to collect together a few pieces of her broken heart.
I know since returning home she has not really been looking after herself. However, watching her cook for me and insisting for me to relax and let her take care of me is wonderful…..not because I am being lavished with her kindness but because I can be sure that now she has started cooking again, she’ll continue with her first small steps to put her life together again.
I can’t imagine how she will cope with the aloneness..she had no children, they where each others lives.
For these few days we can just “be” while we share our pain. We have had conversations of how we are going to plan for Christmas without her partner and my son….all not set in stone but at least we know what we can an can’t manage. A conversation about the next step forward for her…it’s a safe place for us both while we each explore aloud what’s really going on in our heads as the rest of the whole rushes on.
As you say Melanie, it’s a bit of courage that’s needed.
Sending my love and prayers across the ocean xxx
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What a precious gift you are to your friend! I’m thankful you have come to visit and encourage her. I’ve found that often when I intend to bless another heart, I’m blessed too. I pray that your time together is a mutual time of speaking courage to one another. ❤
Soooo good Melanie! I appreciate it so very much when people say things like: “I am praying for you!”or “I think about your son often.” Or if they give me a hug. But NOT “Well, are you doing all right now??” as if to say “It’s been several months now and I think you should be getting better by now!” Thank you for putting in writing how so many of us surely feel. God bless you!
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The friends who leave space for us to speak our hearts are a true blessing. It is hard to fend off the frustration when someone seems a bit disappointed that we haven’t reached some imaginary milestone. I’m thankful the blog helps your heart. ❤