I have been thinking lately that I have led somewhat of a charmed life up to this point.
I have never had anything really terrible happen to me, and maybe I am going to jinx it by writing this post.
But now that I am getting older, as well as my friends, I realize that “charm” is short lived. I have never suffered the loss of a child, had someone I love battle cancer, been through divorce, suffered abuse…but people in my life have. I have held hands, shed tears, felt sympathy, comforted, held on tightly, offered words of encouragement, and carried burdens. It is in those moments when I find myself thinking, “What do I say? I cannot relate to this.” And I begin to feel guilt…guilt over having two beautiful, healthy children, guilt that my husband is kind and good and faithful to me, guilt that my parents are happily married instead of bitterly divorced, guilt about the decisions I have made in my life. But then several things sink in. 1. My life is really not that “charmed”. I have had to deal with things just like everyone else. They may not be as hard to get through but they have still been hard. 2. Instead of feeling guilty about my life and my family I should be forever grateful and thankful that I have been so blessed. 3. Life can change in an instant. One day I will be the one being comforted for some reason. 4. When I compare myself to others, in any way, the result is hardly ever positive.
I also have realized that in those moments when friends and family are suffering the most unimaginable kind of pain, words are not always necessary. The most important thing is not whether or not I can empathize but that I am present. Because sometimes all that is needed is a shoulder to lean and cry on in silence.