Here’s a familiar situation that we’ve all been in - you see someone you know that has recently lost a loved one, or is going through a serious illness, or recently got divorced and that little voice in your head says “do I say something or not . . . I don’t know them that well . . . what do I say that won’t make matters worse . . . . " Well, here’s a practical and humorous guide encouraging us to go ahead, reach out and fumble; it’s better than not reaching out at all!
In short, colorful chapters, the authors share examples of their “Three Touchstones of Showing Up” – your kindness is your credential, listening speaks volumes and small gestures make a big difference. I really liked and learned a few things from their “empathy directory cheat sheets” that lay out several tough situations with a host of things to say and things to do that can provide help and show concern.
Dr. Kelsey Crow founded Help Each Other Out and is a breast cancer survivor. She has a doctorate in social welfare and teaches at California State University. Emily McDowell survived Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is the creator of Empathy Cards, humorous and honest greeting cards written for people experiencing major illness, grief and loss. They write, “Our experiences alone didn’t make us empathy experts – they just made us understand how important it is, in difficult times, to have support from the people in our lives.” Well said.