It's so hard to know what to say or do when you care for someone who is living through a difficult circumstance. It doesn't matter if it's divorce, illness, family stress, death, or something else . . . sometimes it just flat out sucks.
As Emily McDowell and Kelsey Crowe, Ph.D., state, "there is no good card for this."
Maybe you are familiar with Emily McDowell's Empathy Cards, which she designed "for the relationships we really have." This book is more of the same - sound guidance from two women who have lived through those sucky times. Reading this book is like sitting down with a trusted friend and getting the real scoop. It's relatable, candid, and as breezy as writing on this topic can possibly be.
Emily and Kelsey write about the three touchstones of showing up: kindness, listening, and small gestures. They share from their own experiences as well as from those who participated in the research to bring this book together. It's heartfelt stuff. It's really accessible. It's not at all intimidating, thanks to the humor and credibility these great ladies bring to their writing.
One of my favorite parts was the guide on page 95 called "What Kind of Nonlistener Are you?" The authors identified five types of nonlisteners and courageously shared their own tendencies.
Honestly, there are so many phenomenal quotes, tips, and passages in this book I feel I'll take in and appreciate something new every time I read it. It's that good.
In short, I think you'll love it and put a lot of miles on it. Please read it before you need it, because trying to figure out how to support your friend who is hurting at the moment she needs help is hard for both of you.
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I see a lot of incredible moments of the human experience while being with families in love and grief. From each family I learn, and those lessons and points to ponder are what I wish to share with you here.