Keep Showing Up, They Need You

July 29, 2020

She texted to say the treatments were no longer working. That her precious mother was in the fight of her life, with no medical cure or sustaining treatment. Her text was brave and faithful and full of hope. She’s an incredible woman.

I read the words as tears slid down my face. My heart prayed for different answers than the ones she had just sent. I know those words, those outcomes, and those realities. The c-word once plagued my mother with illness, until the day it completely conquered her earthly body and life. The pain of the words written in that text were not unknown to my heart. 

Before responding, I took a moment to pray. Fiercely pray. For a miracle. For a cure. For a new treatment plan. For more days, more moments, and an abundance of time added to this woman’s future. When you know grief, you pray with immense intention and heart, that it doesn’t touch the ones you love and admire. You pray and wish and hope that it stays away, for as long as it possibly can. 

I respond with a sincere and heart-filled message as the tears continue. I desperately want to help. Overwhelmed with absent solutions, I search Etsy and Amazon for “gifts to comfort” and “gifts to provide hope.” I scroll through the search results and find myself pained by the reality that none of the things listed will truly make a difference. 

You can’t buy comfort.

You can’t buy hope.

You can’t buy faith. 

You can’t buy a cure or miracle.

My friend doesn’t need a box of chocolates. She doesn’t need a vase of flowers. She doesn’t need a self-care spa set. She needs someone to show up. Someone to hug her. Someone to drop off dinner without asking and send a card in the middle of the week to remind her she’s prayed for. She needs to be wrapped in love and compassion and empathy. 

It’s human nature to attempt to eliminate pain and to make it non-existent. The truth is, we can’t prevent or escape pain. We can’t escape hardships. The same way that joy and happiness find us, so does pain and grief. We simply must keep stepping, keep moving, keep journeying through, supporting each other as we go. 

I don’t have answers or solutions for the wishes and prayers of my friend. I simply have a heart that is working diligently to support her in any capacity that I can. I have a heart that knows her fears and pain. A heart that is ready to listen and remain present. 

You can’t buy comfort.

You can’t buy hope.

You can’t buy faith. 

You can’t buy a cure or miracle.

You can simply keep showing up. Keep praying. Keep loving them through it, with compassion, grace, and understanding. With empathy and strength. Don’t try to take the weight and heaviness, instead hold it temporarily and help carry it for a while. Don’t try to repair their brokenness, simply assist to pick up the pieces so they can rebuild when they’re ready. Sprinkling love, strength, and perseverance on each shattered portion of their heart and soul. 

Honor their fear.

Honor their pain.

Honor their hope and faith.

Honor their journey.

It’s not easy, but it’s simple: keep showing up. They need you. 

xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.

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