Even at the holidays, life doesn’t stop. Amid the joy and celebration and light, we can still feel the weight of a broken relationship, a financial hardship, a diagnosis you’d give anything to take on yourself instead. It’s terribly hard to watch a friend or loved one struggle with a painful experience, but even harder sometimes to know how to give the support they need. This week, Emily’s friend Dean Crowe shares how to hold space for someone who’s hurting. A few years ago, Dean’s friends lost their son William after her battled cancer for several years. When Dean asked what she could do—beyond prayers, beyond bringing food, though those are important too—William’s parents asked Dean to find a way to fun childhood cancer research. And that’s exactly what she did, with her organization Rally Foundation. Dean and Emily talk about ways to support friends in big ways, but especially in the small ones, like showing up to clean or watching kids without being asked, even just being a sound board. Most of all, Dean reminds us to go beyond being grateful for the people in our lives. We can say we love them with our words, but even more with our actions.
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“No matter how tightly we hang on to our people, our titles, our identity, we're all going to let go of it someday. We'll all experience loss and the grief that comes with it. I think that's why it's so painful to see someone else go through loss. You can easily imagine how it feels.” – Emily Ley
“At one point, less than 4% of the government federal funding went to childhood cancer research. Now, the National Institutes of Health dedicates 4.05%, so they're making progress. But our kids are definitely worth more than that, so that's what we look at with the Rally Foundation.” – Dean Crowe
“As women, we naturally want to take a little present or bring flowers, which is great. And I love that. I think it's important. But I also think there's times where we just need to be there.” – Dean Crowe
A Blessing for Your Week
When you don't know what to say, I hope you remember you can always say I love you.
When you don't know what to do, I hope you remember you can always offer a hand to help, an ear to listen, or a shoulder to cry on.
Above all, I hope you have a friend in your life who cares for you the way you so lovingly care for others.
Simplicity Tip of the Week
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to know how to help someone who is going through a loss we’ve never experienced ourselves. But you know what? You can always offer up a prayer on their behalf. I know sometimes it can feel trite, but I truly believe in the power of prayer. Because not only does prayer change our circumstances—it also changes us. Praying for people who are hurting helps us stay close to them emotionally and attuned to what kind of help they might need. So even if you don’t know where to start, say a little prayer for your friend. You may be surprised by how much it helps in the long run.
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