Hold Their Hand (Even if You) Say the Wrong Thing

A few weeks ago, I posted this quote from Barbara Kingsolver:

“The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.”

Why is this top of mind?

This past week a few friends’ and family’s lives went pear-shaped (and that’s an upbeat way of putting it.)

In the moments after hearing their news, I felt an almighty dread of saying or doing the wrong thing…to the point that I considered doing nothing.

Then I remembered the Kingsolver quote– and dove in.

And you know what?

Even if I didn’t handle it “perfectly”, trying (even imperfectly) seemed to make a difference to those I spoke with.

(And I felt less wretched than I do when I say or do nothing.)

I pass this along in the hope that it might be helpful the next time wanting to say or do the ‘right thing’ has you paralyzed.

Because any comfort you offer will leave you dearer to one another than you were before.

For more on the importance of ‘simply’ showing up, look at “O Captain, My Captain: The Value of Sitting with Sadness and Standing in Solidarity”.