Today I was reading one of my favourite blogs Terrible Palsy and the latest post Analyze this really spoke to me. It made me stop and think about the times that I would blunder in where angels fear to tread and try and say something comforting (or so I thought) to someone who was suffering.
My Dad and I have recently been discussing this very subject - why people feel the need to offer platitudes rather than just listen. I suppose it partly comes from an inherent human need to comfort others. It may also be that rather than truly listening to what a person has to say we anticipate what we imagine they might like to hear.
I'll give you and example -
Recently we scattered my beautiful Mum's ashes at the seaside. I was obviously upset and many people came up afterwards to speak to me.
Some told me my Mum was in a "better place" -
Better than being surrounded by family and friends who adored her?
Some told me at least Mum wasn't suffering any more -
I wondered would Mum have chosen suffering over death
- chosen to stay a little longer to see her baby grandson Liam?
And some told me that Mum was "ready to go"
But I wasn't ready for her to go and I am sure my Dad and my brother
weren't ready for her to go either.
Don't get me wrong each of these statements was said with love and concern - and yet they provided little or no comfort to me...
One special friend who I have known since childhood said something to me that touched me so deeply and made me realise she understood my pain. What did she say? What wise words did she impart?
She said "I am so sorry".
Four simple words that reached out to me and gave me comfort.
I suppose there is a lesson for all of us -
Most of us just want to be heard
We don't need solutions or answers
We just want someone to reach out and show that they care...
Thank you to all of my friends and family who show me how much they care about me.
Each hug or kiss helps provide me with the strength to face another day.
In return I hope I can really listen to what you are saying
- to stop, take a breath and listen to the true meanings of your words
With much love and gratitude,