That day, there was an earthquake and tsunami that claimed an immense death toll. For all we knew, the Fukushima nuclear plant 200km away was about to explode. I’ve never had so much adrenaline in my body.
People abroad were calling us all the time to check in on us. Some of these calls went like this:
Caller: “OH MY GOD! YOU POOR THING! HOW DOES IT FEEL TO KNOW THAT FUKUSHIMA MIGHT EXPLODE ANY MINUTE AND HORRIBLY IRRADIATE YOU?!!”
Me (steepling fingers): “Hum.. And how’s the weather in Sweden?”
When you speak to someone who’s in a crisis: a natural disaster, losing a child, a medical diagnosis, whatever. The only rule is: manage your own distress.
Don’t pour it on them.
If you want to help, create listening space for them. Don't make them fear they’ll make you panic if they say what’s truly on their mind.
They might use this space to say mundane things; to be silent; to say how they feel. It doesn’t matter. Keep the space open for whatever they choose to do with it.
There’s a Norwegian song that says something like: “I can’t go where you’re going, but I can walk with you part of the way.”
Do that for the person you care for. It’s quite wonderful for them to know you’re not afraid to be afraid.
No bad horses, only untrained riders 🐴
I can't wait to hear what you want to share!