The toughest thing is to see a person you love get to the edge of their resolve and quietly fall apart. It’s a slumping of the shoulders or a long hurtful sigh or a sarcastic remark or they blink away a tear. It’s different than hysterics. There’s a silent internal folding like a shot in the gut, a hollow feeling of resigned pointlessness: and it’s so deadly quiet.
In that moment, they may be too embarrassed to ask for help or to expose how weak they really feel. But I hope it’s that exact moment we rush in to hold them up. I hope we fill up that crumpled collapsed space with a word of life. To remind them of their value, worth, dignity, to show the progress they have made up this mountain. I hope we don’t simply plod along when we know there’s something wrong: but we fly in there with the audacity to rebel against their resignation, as gentle as a surgeon and until our voice shakes.
It won’t be pretty. Probably it’ll feel like you’re not even helping. Real love is gritty, messy, clumsy, unpolished, raw. It’s not at all romantic or like a scripted Hollywood epiphany. But our words do not need to be witty or wise or altogether right. We just need someone to fall on, to lift our heavy arms, to be close enough to feel our hot tired breath: even for one more step. We need the hope of vulnerability. And to be that for someone reminds us why we do anything at all. We remember that the fabric of life is together, a journey of side-by-side, so that even a failure is not the end of anything, but only a deepening of you and me.