I have several good friends who have suffered tremendous loss this past year.  I also have friends who are in the biggest battle of their lives--fighting for their very life.  Each of these struggles are NOT for the faint of heart.  It is really painful to stand with those who are suffering.  We cannot "fix" their pain---there are no words and nothing we can do to alleviate the unthinkable loss and pain  their life holds.  We are at a loss as to what to say, what to do, how to help them endure.  The loss and struggle take over their world and at the end of the day, their thoughts have been consumed with the "why" and "what ifs".  I can promise you, they would much rather be thinking happy thoughts--but at the moment the are surrounded by the fog of pain and suffering.  They cannot see their way out---though they had much rather focus on better days---today is lost in the heartache of what was.  We all feel so helpless when there is no answer in how to help.  Here are a couple of things I have learned~

What can you do?  How can you help?  Stand with them--be present--listen.  If they want to rehash what has happened every five minutes, let them.  There is a need to verbalize what has happened--it helps the one suffering to process their loss or helplessness.  Do not offer platitudes of encouragement-no matter how well meaning or true they may be.  Listen--Listen--Listen while standing firmly with them.  No matter what you may say, it will not change the circumstance.  Your willingness to stand by them and listen--without need to try and offer some elixir to end their pain speaks volumes.  We are at a loss when our loved ones are in pain--are suffering.  We want to help them.  Unfortunately we also are extremely uncomfortable with hearing their suffering.  They still need to voice their distress--listen and stand firmly by them.

Most important--PRAY.  God hears our prayers.  Be an intermediary --bombard Heaven with your request for your loved ones.  Yes, God has a plan for them--perhaps that plan includes using you and others to pray for them.  Listen to that voice inside and pray each time you are prompted.  It is no accident when someone comes to mind, it is a prompt to pray.  God will give moments of solace, God will remind them of His great love for them, God will count their tears and hold them in a jar.  God does love them--perhaps in a special way we will never understand this side of Eternity--He is emulating what we should be doing---listening, standing firmly by them, and loving them.  God is our Great Comforter in our greatest moments of distress.  He stands firm.

"Blessed be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Father of mercies and

the God of all comforts,

who comforts us in all our affliction,

so that we may be able to comfort 

those who are in any affliction,

with the comfort with which we

ourselves are comforted,

by God."

2 Corinthians 1:3-4


  1. Thank you for caring and helping others to understand how to help one who is suffering.

    1. I think we are all well intentioned, but at a loss as to how to help. God and time are the true solace in the midst of our great sorrows.

  2. amen to every line of this beautiful post, friend ...

    1. We learn while in the trenches, Linda.


Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!