absolutely speechless. Sometimes it was joy that tangled my tongue in knots. Occasionally shock has (fortunately) sealed my lips.
But sometimes, it has been a sorrow that someone shared with me - a sorrow that touched deeply. Words seem inadequate at that time - because they are inadequate. Silence speaks much more eloquently.
This busy world wants us to fill every silent moment with words, television, radio, computer chat... something! Silently being with someone is not encouraged - in fact, it is discouraged - and the litany of "reasons" fills the empty places in our minds.
"They just need some time alone."
"I don't know what to do."
"It takes time to heal."
"I get too upset when I talk to them."
"I'll call in a week or two."
And on and on it goes. It is tough to be there when someone is hurting and we don't know what to do. The truth is, most of the time "doing" isn't what is needed. "Being" is what is needed. Don't be afraid to be silent with someone - embrace it. The "being" can be healing for both of you.
Many years ago, I had a friend who showed me what it means to "be there" for someone. After her friend's son had died at the tender age of around seven years old, she went to her friend's home and silently stood in her friend's kitchen. She did this for weeks before her friend began to speak to her.
Being there takes time and it isn't easy or window-dressing-pretty. But it is beautiful.