There are many things in life that happen to others, and if we haven’t had the same experiences we don’t really know what to say or do. As I have looked through articles ( one by Summer Thorp ) about this very thing, there were some comforting words to remind me… that I can’t change the situation for them and I can’t heal their broken hearts but I can do something! The list that was in one of these articles helped me out some, and I hope they will help you too if you have a friend in need.
Here’s what we CAN do…
Respect Others’ Privacy…not everyone is comfortable sharing when they are hurting so bad. Some people don’t want others opinions at that time. Some don’t know how to handle this in their life, and may not feel like sharing it with others. We need to respect that.
Don’t Minimize the Loss…when I had cancer, someone said to me right before my mastectomy “at least you are only losing one breast”. Some how… I didn’t feel better and that comment hurt, even though I know it wasn’t meant to. When bad things happen, we will feel sorrow, pain and our heart will really hurt. But grieving is an important part of healing. If you have never been there, then don’t try to say something great, just remind them that they are loved and you are there, if and when they need you.
Recognize That Both Parents Experience Loss… When problems happen as a couple, we may tend to just try and comfort the Wife and Mother, yet the Father is hurting just as bad. Remember to be considerate and compassionate to him also. If he ever needed a friend… now might just be the time.
Ask How You Can Help… Many times, when you are going through a tough time, it is hard to know what to tell others they can do to help. But if they know you are really there, night or day…I think that helps and continue to offer some help. One day they just might take you up on it.
Support in Simple Ways… Some times it is the little things that are the hardest to accomplish when you are struggling or hurting so bad. Cooking, cleaning, doing little errands like grocery shopping might seem like a huge task at the time. I don’t think it hurts to do some of these simple things to help out. Just leaving a dinner by the door, not going in to talk, because some times retelling the story makes you feel like you just keep opening the wound. So maybe a meal, a note in the mail…just some reminder to them that they are loved and thought of. Plus, remember them in your prayers. Prayer is a very powerful too in calling down the powers of Heaven to help. Never under estimate the power of prayer!
Last but certainly not the least, is to remember the Savior’s Example… The scriptures are full of examples of how the Savior took care of those who were hurting. He knew when to mourn with someone, and He knew when to help. After Lazarus’s death, Christ traveled to Bethany to be with Martha and Mary. To Martha He offered His testimony of life after death and asked her to reaffirm her testimony. When Mary expressed her grief over the loss of her brother, the scriptures simply state, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
The simplest acts can mean the most to your loved ones who are suffering. Let us be more like the Savior and help ease their pain.
“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche