It’s not always easy to know what to say. Or do. Or how to react. Or when to just listen. Or when to exhibit righteous anger. Or you name it.

When a friend or a family member is hurting, when they’re wading through a pain that seems unfathomable or a grief so thick it’s exhausting to even formulate a sentence, sometimes we can flee the scene rather than be a first responder.

My mom is an expert at this sort of thing . . . She has a friend who lost a son in a tragic drowning accident at the age of three back in the 1970’s.

Most of the people her friend knows shy away from even mentioning his name. Shoot, even the word “drowning” made everyone shuffle and attempt to change the subject in an octave-higher voice.

Yet one day, when my mom and her friend were talking, she was told how much it meant that my mom wasn’t scared to talk about her son. She didn’t avoid saying his name. In fact, she even chuckled over how fun it would have been to watch him grown up.

She joined her friend in her grief and acknowledged that she has a son who is no longer here on earth but will live in her heart forever.

And it’s hard to know what to say and do sometimes, isn’t it? These are the moments when so often, I open mouth, insert foot.

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Thank you, friends!


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