About helping friends through hard times

I've often heard bad news from a friend and felt utterly useless and powerless. I've thought, "what could I possibly say that wouldn't sound trite or pointless?" and "surely they need their very closest friends right now, not me" and "they might want space, I'd like to help but should probably wait to see if they contact me, wouldn't want to be an unwanted intrusion." Well, my community is thankfully much better at this work than I have ever been, and they are teaching me a lot. Things like, even saying "I'm so sorry" means something. Concerned messages asking how I'm doing are hard to answer, but they help me to feel like I still exist, and that means something. Hearing testimonials that it gets easier doesn't make it get easier now, but I'm storing acorns for the winter here and those testimonials mean something. Offers for crash space give me a sense of having choice in my future, even if my cat's comfort makes me choose to stay put; that means a lot. Invitations to come out into the world for food or talk or a movie or a beer: that's the shit that is saving my shit right now. That's everything.

I knew my community was amazing, but I'm pretty much stunned by how much support they are providing. And so fucking grateful. And I'm learning from this so I can hopefully pay it forward in the future, as much as I ever can.

Thank you.