Recently I was in a gorgeous spot in Montana. I was rendezvousing with friends and teaching, so it was a combination of work and play.
One of the new people I met asked if I would have breakfast with her. The purpose was to get to know each other better and perhaps explore doing some kind of event in the future regarding women, horses, mental skills training and horsemanship.
We met over a lovely breakfast and began chatting. Within minutes somehow the subject of Zane came up and I shared with her about his passing. I truly cannot recall why or how I mentioned him.
She looked at me with big tears in her eyes and said she was leaving the next day to go to the funeral of one of her daughter’s best friends, a young man who had been living in their home for the summer. Her daughter and the boy were lifelong friends … the boy next door friend.
He had recently passed from tragic circumstances. The woman herself was grief stricken and heart sick. But most of all, she hurt for her daughter who was struggling terribly. She didn’t know how to help her.
I shared with her one of the things that helped me through the toughest parts of my own grief … and something I now strive to do for others who grieve … and that is … just stand by them.
One of my closest friends, as well as my family did that for me during my darkest days after Zane’s passing. And they still do.
They didn’t try to fix my broken heart. They didn’t feel pressure to find some kind of magic words that would make it all ok for me … and for them. They were just there for me through texts, cards, emails, lunch invitations and phone calls. I didn’t have to share what was on my heart if I didn’t want to. There were no demands on me to be or say anything other than what I wanted to be or say.
That is the best support of all. Just having someone there so we don’t have to go through the valley alone. Of course, our horses are awesome at being a steady source of strength. They too allow us to have dignity in our sorrow. They stand by and steady us while we find some footing to stand firmly on our own again.
It has been healing for me to aspire to be that kind of person for others, too. I love how giving and receiving are such a sweet partners in a healing circle.
At breakfast that morning, my new friend and I never left the conversation about what was transpiring in her life. Somehow it helped me to stand by her.