Showing up is what Friends do

14 Nov

Over the last few weeks I’ve learned that several of my friends have been going through pretty difficult times.  One friend’s husband has been facing very serious health challenges while another friend lost his mother.  When I heard this news, my first reaction was to think something along the lines of “why do bad things happen to good people?” My next response was to bake each of them a pie.


Marionberry Pie

In his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”, Harold S. Kushner writes, ““Is there an answer to the question of why bad things happen to good people?…The response would be…to forgive the world for not being perfect, to forgive God for not making a better world, to reach out to the people around us, and to go on living despite it all…no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it has happened.” 


How do you respond when bad things happen to your friends?  Though sometimes I think it is hard to know precisely what to do, I have found that often doing something as simple as showing up matters a great deal.  On my desk I have pasted the quote, “You can pretend to care, but you cannot pretend to show up” by George L. Bell.  Something about those words really resonates with me… I guess it because it’s imperative to me that the people I care about know that I am the  kind of person that they can depend upon…. the kind of person that shows up.  And if I just happen to show up with a pie, well, I think that will work out just fine.

“A true friend never gets in your way, unless you happen to be going down.”  Arnold H. Glasow

4 Responses to “Showing up is what Friends do”

  1. Chris Cook November 14, 2013 at 10:08 PM #

    Thanks, Karen – This was an especially inspiring blog. I love the quote “A true friend never gets in your way, unless you happen to be going down.” Another thing I’ve been finding to be true is the importance and value of just BEING PRESENT for a friend who is struggling in some way. As a coach, I call that “holding the space,” which means making that person know that you have a place for her/him to just be. To experience what is going on. To know that it’s safe and that they are being lovingly held. I’m interested in peoples’ feedback. Thanks again.

    • pieadaygiveaway November 15, 2013 at 5:18 AM #

      I like what you are saying Chris… letting your friends “just be.” Sometimes I feel the need to fix things… when I know I am powerless to do so. But “holding the space” is a great gift. Thank you.

  2. Donna Wright November 14, 2013 at 11:20 PM #

    Showing up is what friends do. We don’t always know what is going on in a persons life so acts of kindness can make a world of difference to someone who is hurting. Thanks Karen for what you do for others.

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