Things I do, or don’t.

I read on Facebook that a friend I haven’t talked to in a long time is hurting. Going through a really rough time. Well today it’s this one friend, but it’s not only one friend, it’s many friends. Many friends, because this happens all the time.

But today, this one friend is hurting. And I want so much to reach out and say something kind, encouraging, helpful.

But I don’t.

Words are not enough–so many times they are only words, trite and oft-repeated. Perhaps, even, unwelcome. Because people always say the same thing. I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’m thinking of you; I’m praying for you. It’s not that it’s insincere–I’m sure it isn’t! It’s just… I don’t want to add to the din. I don’t want my words to get lost in the crowd.



I know you hurt. And I see that your life is in tumult. I hurt for you. I hurt with you. My chest is tight, and my brain can’t think straight. I want to cry, but I don’t even know why, because I’m not sad. Except that I am. Because you, my friend, are grieving. I am praying for you, and I am thinking of you. Even though I am silent.

My silence is not a sign of indifference. It signals how deeply I feel for you, and how much I long for healing, for you and for your family. If I put it into words…well, I can’t, because words are not enough. They aren’t.

I hold you close to my heart, and I hope somehow you will know I care. And that if you were here, I would hug you so tight you’d have no doubt of my caring.

I wish I were the type who could say these things out in the open, join the dozens and dozens who comment on a Facebook post. But I’m not.

However, it doesn’t mean I don’t sincerely, profoundly empathize and sympathize. Just so you know. If ever you hurt, and I don’t say anything. And you wonder why…


6 thoughts on “Things I do, or don’t.

  1. Speaking as someone who has received all sorts of words on social media, I would say that the words spoken aloud more than the words kept to yourself. However, they actually mean more when sent in a private message, which is good for those who don’t want to “add to the din”, as you said. I encourage you to reach out to your friend. You have no idea how your words might be just the ones they need to hear for being more sincere and less trite than the general responses. Hugs.

  2. I get it, I see those posts on Facebook and tend to prefer something personal, wondering if all the reponses just end up as chatter… who knows, maybe we are heading that way, where public expressions of support are the main way it’s done

    • Oh, heavens…I am afraid you might be right. But I think I’ll never be okay with it. We will just have to be the sticklers who continue to make direct contact. A phone call, a hand-written note, even a text are more lovely and loving. (This is a reminder to myself as much as anything.)

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