Finding words of support in hard times isn’t about formulas. It’s mostly about listening, avoiding uninvited advice, and offering support for the current moment. Here’s a recent example, with some commentary on why I said what I said. +++ A friend texted the other day: “The police just brought my dad home. He got lost. … Continue reading A short conversation in a scary moment.
These days, and all days, people die and family isn’t present. It’s particularly hard when rules keep people away. But sometimes it’s distance, sometimes it’s relationship, sometimes it’s timing. From my observations as a chaplain and as a human, I’d like to suggest some of the reasons we feel so emotionally hurt when we know … Continue reading I couldn’t be there when my loved one died.
“What’s wrong?” we ask a coworker who looks stunned after a phone call. “My mom just died.” It’s a moment that can leave us speechless. Or maybe it should. Because we feel a need to fill the space (and our discomfort) with words. We start fixing and telling and offering and answering. My colleagues and … Continue reading What can you say when someone’s loved one has died?