“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone.” Genesis 2:18

Jasmine was first admitted to the hospital at the height of the COVID pandemic and placed in isolation, which meant no visitors were allowed. Through a unique set of circumstances, I was permitted to visit her one afternoon for five hours and got a taste of what she was going through. The isolation was agonizing.

I created this blog to keep everyone updated during Jasmine’s hospitalization. After she passed away, people have told me, “I thought about calling, but I did not know what to say.” I totally get that. Unless you’ve “been there,” it is difficult to reach out, not fully knowing what a person in that position is going through. It is natural to fear saying the “wrong” thing. Text messages are short and convenient; emails can be more expressive. But there is no substitute for hearing a human voice or reading facial expressions with inflections of care, concern, and compassion.

There are two sides to grief—those who suffer the loss and those who care about them.

For those who suffer the loss, grief can become all-consuming. It can go from dismay to disorientation to depression to despair . . . but only if we allow it. Isolation kills. God created us as relational beings. The road to recovery includes being intentional about staying connected with people in our life. It lifts our spirits and enables us to move forward. People really do care, but they might not know what to say. Take the initiative to connect with them. It is a step forward and progresses toward restoring wholeness.

To those who care but are afraid to say the “wrong” thing, push through your fear and make the phone call. Simply say, “I have been praying for you, and I am calling to see how you are doing.” It would mean even more to offer to meet for lunch or coffee . . . then set the date.

A dear friend phoned me every week throughout my journey. He mowed my lawn when I was recovering from COVID pneumonia. Decades earlier, he had “been there.” He knew the feeling of walking the road alone and acted upon it. It meant a lot.

Isolation kills; be intentional about staying connected. Go ahead; make the call. Move forward.

Stop and Consider . . .

Next: Top 7 Life Lessons #6: Life is short. Make it count for something that outlives you. Move Forward.

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