Losing someone you love--whether to illness, accident, or murder--is one of the most painful things we can go through on this earth. Everytime we hear of tragedy, we all hope and pray that it isn't our own child, sibling, parent, or friend. But we have no control over such things.
I am firmly convinced that we all have a role to play in encouraging those around us who are struggling with major challenges such as illness and loss. So often, we recognize the magnitude of the tragedy unfolding around us but we think there is nothing we can say or do to make it better or less painful.
I want to challenge you to think carefully about that assumption. There are always ways you can help, whether it is cooking a meal for the family; driving the patient to an appointment; visiting the hospital; sending a card, letter, or email of encouragment; remembering the family in prayer; or simply offering a kind word to someone in need. These are things we need to remember.
So the next time you hear of a tragic illness or loss, I urge you to do SOMETHING. Do not make excuses for yourself about not knowing someone well enough or not knowing what to say. Trust me, a thoughtful gesture--no matter how imperfect--will be rememebered for a long time and will be a big boost for someone in need.