I recently received an email from a gentleman named Kevin who told me that his friend was in an accident 3 months ago and is paralyzed from the neck down. He reached out to me because he didn’t know what to say to his friend when he saw him.
Your friend has a good friend in you. Please remember that your friend is the same person he was 4 months ago. One of the most painful things for me was when my friends and family began acting different with me. Nothing made me feel more alone.
I don’t know what his mood is these days, but most of us want is for our previous relationships to remain the same as they were.
So the bottom line here is: Don’t worry, be you.
But getting back to the whole theme of feeling alone and alienation, I found lots of people telling me how I should think and feel. I hated hearing people tell me that “it will always be this bad” or “be strong” or a whole bunch of other meaningless phrases.
Kevin, think about what you would like if you were to find yourself feeling profoundly alone in this world.
Perhaps you would like someone to just sit with you and listen. Perhaps someone to approach you with a curious mind and a loving heart.
Please be that for your friend. That way you can help him feel less lonely.
When I was in the hospital, most people who visited said these phrases that made them sound like cheerleaders.
But my cousin visited one night and sat by my bed and asked, “What is all of this like for you?”
And then he listened.
And then we cried together.
That was an act of love.