Cindy La Ferle
Please visit the home page for additional content, social media sharing options,
or to subscribe for daily email updates from this blog.
I’ll be the first to admit that being fully present for a loved one in crisis isn't always possible. We’re all sandwiched tightly between our own commitments and good intentions, and it can take a herculean effort just to pop a greeting card in the mail. It's much easier to send a text or a Facebook message and be done with it.
Difficult times provide opportunities to strengthen relationships -- whether you're the one who's giving or receiving help. We grow closer to friends and relatives who are willing to sit with us in the trenches while we battle our toughest challenges.
I was numb and depressed during the first two years after my mother died. Friends who understood my exhaustion -- as well as the depth of my loss -- could see that I wasn't myself and needed time to recover. They understood that I needed more than lunch dates and shopping sprees. Those friends were available to listen and offer emotional support. And they didn't take it personally when I had to pull back from normal activities.
As Oprah Winfrey puts it, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” It also helps to have friends who can make an awesome kettle of minestrone. -- Cindy La Ferle