Sunday 22 September 2019

Five minutes to mindfulness

Sharing someone's pain
Sharing someone's pain

Marianne Power

It can be hard to know what to say when someone you love is suffering. When a friend or family member is ill, or grieving, or gets some bad news we desperately want to impart some advice or some wisdom.

We want to make it better - for them, but also for us. Pain is uncomfortable for the people witnessing it as well as the people suffering it. We want to say or do something - anything - to make that better.

"Everything happens for a reason," we tell them. "It wasn't meant to be..." We desperately try to put a bow on the situation. We desperately want to fix it with our words. But maybe sometimes there is no reason, there is no silver lining.

While life can be a beautiful and wondrous thing, it can also be hard and cruel.

And maybe, in those situations, the best thing we can do for a friend in need is to acknowledge that; to say: "This is awful and I'm so sorry." And just be there without the saying anything or trying to fix anything, just sit with them and share their burden, share their pain.

* Marianne Power is the author of

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