One day, shortly after my baby died, my mother came to visit me. She tried to comfort me but at the same time she knew that nothing she could say would make it better.
“I know I can’t really help you, Mollie,” she said. “I would if I could, but I can’t, and I’m sorry.”
Then she told me a story.
“When your dad left me,” she said, “A good friend of mine tried to comfort me. She prayed for me and did everything she could. But nothing helped. I was in so much pain, and as she talked to me, I looked at her and the thought came to me very clearly: ‘She can’t do anything to help me.’
“And that is the truth about friendship,” my mom went on. “Friends can’t really help you when you need it.
“Essentially, we are alone in this world.”
She was right, in a way. Friends can’t take your pain away.
Nothing she could say to me that day would help me feel better.
But having her there did.
It helped a lot.
Friends aren’t everything in life, and they’re certainly not perfect. But they’re good to have, anyway, if for no other reason than this: They are there. They are company. They bring pleasure.
And, a lot of the time, that’s enough.