Can You Be There?

I had the honor yesterday of a friend confiding in me of a painful memory on the loss of her husband. On St. Valentines Day, her memory was of seeing a flat line on her husbands heart monitor.

But these kinds of things happen, sometimes out of the blue, and they can stop us in our tracks and change our mood drastically. A person who is not widowed may be frightened seeing this, but a real friend will stay, not judging or offering opinions, just being there and accepting of their friend and the situation.

Mourning the death of a loved one is always very difficult. All of the memories, good times, bad times, words said, and words not said. Plans, dreams, and future events all lost. But these and more are lost when one loses a spouse. A spouse is half of a couple and is really half of ones self. Half of ones life. The daily, weekly, and seasonal habits and routines are all changing.

You may think of this "new" life, "new" chapter, as a kind of re-birth. We are babies with adult knowledge, not knowing what to do. We need those around us just to be there while we re-form our lives. What can it be? What will it be? When will it not hurt?

So, while we are rebuilding our lives, please just be there, through our successes and failures, our joys and our sorrows, in our present and our futures. We need it and we appreciate it, more than you can know.


Unless you too have lost your spouse through their death, these thoughts may not make sense to you. It is without a doubt a very difficult adjustment.

Unlike this pandemic and our desire to get back to normal, there is no getting back to normal. Our spouse is physically gone from our life and gone from this earth. Our normal is gone. Unlike the change in our lives when we met, dated, fell in love, married, and so forth, this change was sudden and irreversible. Years of togetherness, stopped.

If your friend is someone who has lost their spouse, don't abandon them. They are going through a terrible tragedy. They need your support and understanding, both of which are best demonstrated by being there. Don't judge or advise. Just be there.

I write this tonight after being there for a neighbor who lost his wife a couple of months ago following a long illness. I knew of it for a short time, but didn't know how to reach out, how to approach him. But divine guidance told me to get out there, and the timing was perfect. Just saying, "I heard about your wife." led to a conversation of 15 to 20 minutes. I know that he appreciated it and I will be there if he needs someone to talk to or just someone just to be there.

As Einstein said, "Coincidence is God's way of staying anonymous."

Thank You God


Warning: I was reminded of an incident that I understood, even though it hurt. I had an Irish Setter, Josie, that one time ran after another dog. It was rare for her and she was crossing a street in her chase. 'Luckily', it was at a stop sign. A car was arriving at the stop sign and Josie stopped too late. Her paw was caught under the front tire while the car was stopped. I quivkly held her and yelled at the driver to back up. In her pain, she bit me, but did not break skin.

Sometimes people in pain and grieving may strike out, verbally or otherwise. That is when you really need to be there.

Though Josie was hurt, she was calm and let me hold her while we raced to the Vet hospital.

Result - nothing broken, just some cuts.

Lesson: Hurt people hurt people.

Last modified: Tue Jan 16 15:27:33 Eastern Standard Time 2024