How to Love

When a loved one is in physical or emotional pain,
when their world no longer makes sense,
your simple listening can work wonders.

Cry with them.
Be silent with them.
Validate their feelings, however painful.

Help them feel known in this world.

Don’t offer clever answers now. Offer yourself.
Don’t preach and teach.
Don’t judge them, or make them feel wrong for thinking their thoughts.
Embrace them.
So they do not feel alone.
So they can touch upon their own courage.
Their capacity to withstand intense feelings.

When a friend is in physical or emotional pain,
when their world no longer makes sense,
offer them the greatest medicine of all:
Your love.

Poem by Jeff Foster

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