Friday, November 2, 2012

The Rest of the Ripple

When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not-curing, not-healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is the friend who cares."

-Henri J.M. Nouwen, "Out of Solitude" (as quoted in Pregnancy After A Loss

I come from a family of fixers and do-ers...we are people who want to solve problems and we don't like to be stumped by anything.  For the most part, we are logical people and prefer to believe that every problem has a solution.  As it turns out, I have tended to surround myself by just exactly that type of person with the friends that I have chosen in my lifetime - some have been in my life for more than a decade, others just a few years, and some that I've met only recently along the road that we've been walking this last month.  So for my family and friends (and certainly for us), this sudden feeling of complete powerlessness is a hard pill to swallow. 

I have to say, though, that I have really been fortunate that nearly everyone who has found themselves in our "ripple" for the last month has been absolutely amazing. Some have come forward with very practical offers of support or tangible things that they could do to help us, others have been there to listen when I needed it most, and still others have shared intimate details of their struggles and pain on their own journeys.  Many, many more have offered their thoughts and prayers

I am grateful for each of you and thank you sincerely for the hands you have offered to help pull us through these last few weeks.  It gives me quite a bit of strength to know that those offers have been extended and that I have a network of friends who are so very supportive.  I have seen so many others whose friends have openly criticized their choices or have abandoned them because their pain was "too difficult to deal with."  
As in the quote above, we truly aren't looking for anyone to give us answers or cures - none exist - but the touch of a friend or relative who understands the importance of "simply being present" in whatever capacity you are able is the most valuable support of all.


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