I am sad this morning on so many levels. A friend is very sick in the hospital. Another friend is grieving the death of a precious young friend who died from cancer this very morning. Then there was the tragic needless loss of life in Texas yesterday, and today was our last full day with Ryan on this earth 5 years ago. I’m not sure that my goal of writing/posting something each day this week was such a good idea. I spoke yesterday of the gift of presence and as the day progressed, I began to realize the challenge of being present with my story – especially this week – if I am trying to communicate publicly. So, I have given myself permission to post or not to post (I know its only me that is keeping track).
Here is a thought from Henri Nouwen in his book “Bread for the Journey”.
“Consolation is a beautiful word. It means “to be” (con-) “with the lonely one” (solus). To offer consolation is one of the most important ways to care. Life is so full of pain, sadness, and loneliness that we often wonder what we can do to alleviate the immense suffering we see. We can and must offer consolation. We can and must console the mother who lost her child, the young person with AIDS, the family whose house burned down, the soldier who was wounded, the teenager who contemplates suicide, the old man who wonders why he should stay alive.
To console does not mean to take away the pain but rather to be there and say, “You are not alone, I am with you. Together we can carry the burden. Don’t be afraid. I am here.” . . . We can simply say, “I am your friend, I am happy to be with you.” We can say that in words or with touch or with loving silence. Sometimes it is good to say, “You don’t have to talk. Just close your eyes. I am here with you, thinking of you, praying for you, loving you.”
That is consolation. We all need to give it as well as receive it. “