They did not know what to say, so they said nothing, and I suffered alone. When I separated and divorced almost seven years ago, not one neighbor, not one congregation member, not one ministerial leader approached me with friendship or compassion or support. They did not know what to say, apparently, so they stayed away and said nothing at all, and I anguished utterly alone. (Thank God, Mom and Dad and Sarah and Jeanette and Carl and Paul and Megan and Don and Carolyn and Steven—parents, siblings, and three friends—they loved me through.) I think that “I don’t know what to say” is a hideous excuse for pretending not to see, and for withdrawing and withholding, and for saying nothing. I reject it. How easy it would have been for anyone to say, “I am so sorry!” or “What can I do to support you?” or “You will get through this, and I want to be there with you as you do.” I reject it: actually, we do know what to say, but we are reluctant to feel another’s pain, afraid to do the emotional work of empathy. Just: say anything kind. That ought to be easy. When our neighbor’s infant grandson died in his crib in their house this week, constricted by a blanket laid there to warm and comfort the baby boy, dozens of men and women rushed to the house and kept coming every day for weeks, with meals, with hugs, with encouragement, with loving silence, with tears, and with other assurances of love and hope. I did not know what to say, and I did not go, right away. But I had rejected that justification, and I had determined never to stay away for the lack of the right words. Instead of words, I took over a plate of hot crêpes stuffed with chocolate almond frangipane (French pudding) and handed the goodie plate over with a smile and said the words “You might want to use a fork—they are a bit messy” and “This is an authentic French dessert” and “I don’t know what words to say” and “So many people love you and care for you and mourn with you and have hope for your healing and happiness.” And he embraced me and said, “Thank you. I can’t wait to give them a try.” After church today, a group of women surrounded the grieving grandmother and talked and cried and hugged and counseled—they loved. Dad observed to me, “That is more than just a group of women talking. Christ is there with them, healing.” And I knew Dad spoke truth.