“Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.” – Brene Brown
Definition of empathy (Merriam-Webster): “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner”
I have always believed that ‘less is more’. When a family member or a close friend has lost their beloved four-pawed family member, our immediate instinct is to console them. However, for many it is not a very comfortable situation to be in. My best advice is to just be present. If you are not sure what to say, say nothing, words are not always necessary. More often than not your presence is far more healing and comforting than words. Bring them a glass of water, give them a shoulder to emotionally and physically lean on, go for a walk with them. Truly, there are times when ‘silence is golden’, this would be one of them.