How do you comfort a friend?
You can listen, but what more can you do?
It is unfair to them to say, “I understand.”
Even if you went through the same experience,
Because they are not you and do not see through your eyes.
Even though it appears that you have suffered the same loss
Their loss was not exactly yours nor theirs, yours.
Their heart is not yours
Your heart is not theirs
You can feel the sincerest empathy for them,
And care to the point where it breaks your own heart
but that doesn’t mean you “understand.”
You can sit with them, hold their hand, and listen to them
Throughout the time of grief, pain, and loss
And that is of value,
Your presence can be a gift,
But you don’t understand the experience as they do.
You can only understand it as you do.
But there is something you can do
Don’t say that you understand, but touch your heart to theirs
And know that you are there for them to share
That even if you cannot understand, you care
And that their loss matters to you.
Even that which you do not understand.
Only share the mystery of grief and growth
And the wonder at knowing that love is stronger than death
And you will have touched your heart to theirs
And you will help each other to live.
That is the greatest of gifts.