There is such a power in presence, isn't there? I'm sure we've all gone through periods of loneliness, great fear or sadness—and all we needed was someone just to be there for us and with us. Most likely, that other person didn't have the power to change our circumstances. But it made an enormous difference to us to just have that person's presence.
It's good to remember that when others we know and love are going through tough times and challenging situations. We don't have to have answers. We probably can't fix the situation. We don't necessarily need words of wisdom. But we can show up! We can sit beside them. We can listen. We can hug. We can hold their hands. We can give them a backrub or foot massage. We can simply be.
I remember when I got the phone call saying my father (after 11 years of fighting cancer and it had now gone to his brain) had suffered a seizure and was being put into hospice. While my youngest son was on his way driving to my home so we could leave for Iowa to be with Dad, my dear friends came over to sit with me. They held me as I cried. They listened to my fears—and to my stories about Dad. They stayed with me until my son arrived. I will never forget that. The power of presence. It didn't change the situation. It changed me. I felt more able to face whatever was ahead. I felt surrounded and held by love.
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