Reach out

At 7.00 pm, Sudha came out of the Conference Room after a meeting that had lasted 5 hours. There were 6 missed calls from her close friend Lakshmi. She called back immediately.

She was shocked when Lakshmi informed her that Neeta, their close friend who now lived in Europe, had lost her young daughter in a road accident the previous night.

“How has Neeta reacted? Is she OK?” she asked

“Nobody knows. I got the sad news from Neeta’s brother a few hours back. I informed all our friends, but none of us has spoken to Neeta. What will we say, anyway?” Lakshmi replied.

Sudha decided to telephone Neeta immediately. She didn’t know what she would say. All she knew was she had to share Neeta’s grief.

When Neeta answered the call, Sudha just said, “Neeta,” and started sobbing uncontrollably. After about 15 seconds, she mumbled “Sorry” a couple of times and disconnected.

Sudha was ashamed that, instead of supporting Neeta, she had added to her distress.

She thought of calling once more, but was afraid she would burst into tears again. So she sent a text message:
Neeta, I want to speak with you, but I know I’ll break down again. I’ll call when I’m sure I can be a support, not add to your distress.

A few minutes later, she received her friend’s reply:
Sudha, believe it or not, you are the first friend to reach out to me today. That’s all that matters. That’s all I need from a true friend. Words are neither important nor necessary.

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22 thoughts on “Reach out

  1. I know how Neeta felt. Often, those closest to us fear saying the wrong thing, or making it worse by reaching out…and as a result, end up quiet. Sometimes just calling and not saying a word makes a world of a difference.

    Thank you, Pro!

  2. Yes, reaching out does make a lot of difference. One must be prepared for the reaction from the other end as is evident in this case. Though, initially she was inconsolable, the fact that she got a single call made all the difference.

  3. Yes. In the hour of grief, it’s better to give a silent support than say the wrong thing..or keep away for fear of saying something wrong..

  4. very touching story.. When I was in such a position, I just sent a text to my friend and when she replied, I called back.. I was worried about saying something wrong ..But since she responded, I was able to call her up..

  5. In the hour of grief, even just being there mentally is more than enough. No words of solace can comfort as much as just a line “I’m there for you.”

  6. Sometimes, perhaps most of the times in such a situation, all one needs is to feel the presence of the other person – whether on phone or in person. No words are necessary, just the awareness that I am not alone. A very touching post today.

  7. Such a nice message. Something I should follow. I often face situations where I feel for the other person’s pain but am unable to respond because of my own distress. But, it’s important to just show that you care. The action you take, can either bridge a gap or create one (if you do not show).

  8. inspiring ! very true, very often we think some one else might take care, and we find that our action does make a difference to others ! thank you for sharing !

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