Empathy…

I have a special pain… and I guess I’m not unique in that.
A burden I bear- alone.

And people try to understand. They relate it to their own pain.

Those moments in my life where I pause… and look away

Or I cry when driving.

Or I just can’t start my day.

It actually is analogous to that time when…

I don’t know, something different, but terrible happened to you.

Your special pain.

I understand that you care. And that makes it bearable.

That is the hand reaching out… to hold mine.

Not like a syringe filled with morphine

Or a mask the doctor would place over my face to make me sleep

But the muddy and wet hand of a friend, kneeling beside me.
It tells me, “don’t give up. You should never give up.”

And I can’t tell you how much I need that.

You lost something. You lost someone.
Your child? Your dog? Your marriage? Your friend?
I understand. A little.

Share it with me.

And even though I may say nothing…
If I can mimic a smile and a polite response, I will…
I appreciate your soul reaching out to mine.

“How are you?” they ask.

It’s polite. A greeting.

I’m supposed to say that I am fine.

Maybe I am fine.

But I pause too long to give an answer

That isn’t strange or uncomfortable.
You are here with me. So regardless of how deep and dark the feelings may run

I am fine.

And I know you are praying.
Praying for a father that lost a son.

Praying for a mother that lost her son.
Praying for a brother that lost his brother.
And those prayers, reflected back from heaven
Intensified ten fold, by a loving God.
They do make a difference.
If you feel bad for me… for us… for this. I understand.

But if you share in this- my special pain…

It becomes our special pain.

It is no longer a burden I bear alone.
And neither is yours.

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