I won’t lie, I am really bad at knowing what to do when people are in crisis. That seems odd to me since I am a counselor, but I am not talking about what to do while in session. I am talking about those moments when people in your everyday life face a crisis or a loss. When the lady in your church loses her husband or when someone is terribly sick for a really long time. What do I do? What should I say? When I do say something, I feel like it was the wrong thing- like it was so empty and lame.
“Sorry for your loss.” I mean it. I am truly sorry and my heart hurts when people are hurting, but it sounds so hollow when it comes out of my mouth. So what do we do when we are faced with caring for others in crisis and grief?
Listen In Here to Episode 3
Knowing how and when to plug in is awkward. In my desire to help, I have a default mode of wanting to clean and do laundry, but is that the best thing? Does the person who is sick want me sorting through their soiled darks and whites? Should I help someone in another way, some better way?
I have asked friends if they have felt this way, a resounding yes was the reply. My girlfriend said she shies away from “helping like I want to because I don’t know what to say or do.”
Last week, Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook was on The Daily podcast and she said the same thing, but from the point of view as the one grieving. In her loss, she could feel people’s awkwardness all around her. She could sense people icing her out all simply because they did not know how to handle her tragedy.
The week on Life Lessons, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the author of the awesome new book Alongside. This book is an insight to what we should, and should not do when our friends and acquaintances are hurting. Author Sarah Beckman, after struggling with her own series of crises, decided to interview those who had also been in the trenches of grief or loss. I share with you both Sheryl Sandberg’s brief statement on The Daily podcast and an in-depth interview with author Sarah Beckman on this edition of The Life Lessons Podcast.
Quick Links to The Daily Podcast and the books in this week’s episode: