Why is it so difficult to relate to people when they are going through difficult times? This is a dillemma we have all faced at one time or another, and yet none of us seem to have a clear idea of what to do about it.
We don’t know what to say when someone dies. We feel awkward and out of place. We tend to avoid people when we feel this way–but the problem is they most need our support at that moment and often can’t even find a way to tell us. It is similar when someone we know is dealing with a serious, perhaps terminal disease. We can hardly look them in the eye….. We think about calling but we don’t get around to it. We make up a story that calling isn’t enough, or stopping by to visit won’t really matter that much.
I’m wondering if it stems from that basic sense of fear that we all have to one degree or another as humans, the fear that we aren’t that important, and what we do doesn’t actually mean much to others. Some little part of all of us is afraid that no matter what we do, it won’t really make a difference.
Maybe it is because I’ve been through so many difficulties, especially over the last several months, but I want to encourage you to break through your fear and just go spend time with that person. It has meant so much for me to just be with my friends and family. What we say isn’t really important, the being there is.
Please don’t underestimate the value of the greatest gift you can offer another person: your time and your attention. Isn’t that what we remember most from our childhood? People who showed us they cared by taking time to be with us?
Your presence is a present.