How we respond to our friends, colleagues and acquaintances in times of trouble is a personal and private matter. Of course, there are no firm and fast rules and all situations are different but I can now vouch for how valuable it has been for us to feel and know that people are thinking of us. The enormous outreach of love and support from such a variety of people has taught me an important lesson. That is, it doesn’t matter who the kindness and compassion comes from; it is an honour to receive it.
In the past, I have watched people I know either directly or indirectly, face the greatest of personal challenges, suffer huge hardship and experience grief in its most raw form. From a distance, I think about them constantly and wish I could more to help and make things right for them. This is the thing, I tended to keep my distance. I looked at their family and friends and tell myself they don’t need my love or support, they have so much around them, why would they need mine? There has also been the concern that somehow my good intentions will just be slightly mis-timed or misconstrued leading to intrusion rather than support and upset rather than love. Therefore, my imposition is unnecessary as they clearly have a close, loving family and an abundance of support from close friends. Oh, how wrong I was.
Not one person that has reached out to us has intruded or upset us because of the timing or intention. We have welcomed and relished every card, gift, text message, comment, conversation and gesture. This kindness and love has comforted us all and each reach out is a like a coin of hope which gives us the drive to stay positive and keep smiling. It doesn’t matter who, where or when the reach out is; whether it is close family or friends, colleague or acquaintance, passer-by or stranger, each one is equal in its impact. Each instance has touched our hearts and our strength to cope has been fuelled by people showing they care – it has meant the absolute world.
In future, I will not support from a distance but I will make sure that my thoughts and love are known. The power of a reach out is unknown but it is evident that goodness will always emerge from it. Reach out!