A great way to express empathy

When our loved ones find themselves in dire or frightening circumstances – dealing with disease, injuries, grieving a loss – we want to help in some way. We’re not taught how to properly “be there” for those in need, and sometimes we make things worse despite our best intentions.

A close friend who endured all the physical and emotional hardships of chemotherapy to fight cancer taught me a great lesson. It’s natural to want to do things, offer things, or check in and get a health report, but many times this forces them to redirect precious energy on us, rather than healing or processing.

Reaching out to say that you’re thinking of them, praying for them, wishing them well, etc., without requiring their energy to reply and engage is the most helpful thing to some people. The lesson, in as few words as possible is: “express, but don’t expect.”

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