Although I have not written or spoken to him in several days, I know that a dear friend is hurting, as his father-in-law recently passed away. I know that his wife is grieving the loss of her father, whom she provided quite a bit of care for.
I know what my friend is going to do, because I think I know him very well . . . and what he will do will be the right thing to do.
My friend is going to provide his wife with comfort. He is going to listen to her when she wants to talk. He will dry her tears when she cries in front of him. He will hold her hand and just be there. And together, they are going to resolve the hurt to a more manageable level over time, and then one day, the sharp edge of the hurt will be gone. Eventually, as most hurts do, they will fade away . . . in part due the comfort they receive from others.
A blogger friend has experienced a lot of pain from a physical injury as the result of a car accident. I am many miles away and many states away, yet I can do something . . . I can promise to pray for her. That in and of itself is a source of comfort. If a lot of us pray for her . . . and we let her know that we are praying, then perhaps the knowledge of the comfort we want to offer can be a blessing to her in her journey.
Another dear friend is fighting cancer. He and his wife have no children, this has been their battle alone to share to a certain extent. I call him every week if possible, just to let him know I am thinking about him. He shares how it all hurts sometimes, how retirement is not supposed to be like this . . . how he wants to get things in order for his wife, in case the road he is on leads to a "dead" end.
By listening, I offer comfort to him. By praying, I offer comfort to him as well. "Follow up" on a regular basis is a source of comfort. It is also a great gift. Honor a friend who is hurting by "following up" with them on a regular basis.
I'm better than I deserve! ><>