When life throws us a curveball, a smaller one or a blooming huge one that we just can’t dodge, we have to remember one thing. We’re better together.
The best year yet?
As we approach the end of January, lots of us will already have lost that ‘New Year’ optimism that we felt at 00.01 on the 1st January.
I chose not to let it fool me this year. I didn’t put any grand pressure on 2016 to be the best year yet. In fact, it makes me nervous when anyone even says that. Who needs that kind of pressure? Whether you’re a person or a calendar date?
2016 will already have challenged us in different ways. It will already have taken people from us. On a personal level. And on a grander scale as we mourn the shock and loss of huge influences like David Bowie, Alan Rickman and now a legend from our childhood, Terry Wogan.
You could argue it already isn’t the best year yet.
(Please read on. It’s not depressing, honest.)
This thing called life.
But we can’t stop bad things happening. To us, or to the people we love. Or people we don’t even know.
Too many people will get cancer and other awful illnesses. Tragic accidents will happen. Terrorists will continue to spread their evil. Smaller stuff will happen on a daily basis that we have to find a way to navigate.
And when we are facing these horrible, tough times, individually, as a community or as onlookers, it can be difficult to find the words. What use are words anyway? They can’t stop the suffering, can they? We may as well just stay silent, mightn’t we?
No. Because silence equals loneliness.
We must always find the words.
You are not alone.
Words are comforting. They are reassuring.
They tell someone, ‘You’re having a horrible time right now, but you’re not facing it alone.’ These words can come from the loving spouse of a cancer patient. They can come from an acquaintance of a mum who is struggling to get through the day. Or a complete stranger who shares a smile or a kind word when another person needs it most.
Words are compassion. They are the links in the chain that connect us with one another.
That show we’re better together.
Supporting one another.
I have written before about the wonderful playgroup I help run.
I am a very small part of an amazing group of 40 mums (and the odd dad) who come week after week and support one another. We genuinely care about one another. If there is a mum in the room having a difficult time or feeling low (and there is always at least one), someone will make themselves available to talk to them. To empathise. To make them realise they’re not alone.
All any of us really want in life is not to feel alone, isn’t it?
When we talk, good things happen.
So words and gestures might not change the situation but it makes a big difference to how it’s handled. And that’s important. Having people around you who care.
A few examples. There’s Joey and Rory, who I speak of often, receiving so much love and support as they share her journey with cancer. My blogging friend, Diary of a Fat Bottomed Girl, is hopefully feeling similar support by writing beautifully about her husband’s recent cancer diagnosis with honesty, dignity and courage, whilst raising two young children. And there’s Michelle Mead, the mum who bravely opened up this week about losing her one year old son to Sepsis who is less alone because thanks to her there are hundreds of thousands of parents more aware than they were seven days ago.
Every one of us can make someone else feel better by talking, offering a shoulder or making a kind gesture.
And reminding each other that we are in this thing called life, together.
That we are always better together.