Last week my cousin’s father-in-law died. I know how devastating that is (my mother-in-law died unexpectedly 14 years ago), and I wanted to do something, to make my cousin feel a little better, to help. Sometimes, though, what a person really needs is for friends and family to simply BE THERE, not to DO THINGS.

That didn’t stop me from feeling disproportionately happy to pick up her kids’ towels after they showered when we were at her house. I mean, I can DO THAT at least. But I also accepted that in this situation, all I could do – being there (and for a brief moment, even) – might just be what she needed from me.


Thinking about that reminded me of the many times people have been there for me – both during life and death situations like this one and during smaller crises that were heartbreaking nonetheless. I’m so incredibly thankful for the caring people in my life who have been there – hugging, listening, sitting, crying – and thankful for the opportunities I’ve had to do the same for others.

I’m talking more about this at (in)courage today. Will you join me there?

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