If the tables had been turned, I would’ve had no idea how to be a good friend on such a difficult, emotional day.

Shucks, I hardly know what to write in a sympathy card when my friends experience loss — and yet, on the day my mom died, my friends showed up for me.

Their simple acts of kindness spoke volumes, and taught me that I don’t have to have eloquent words or a solution to a problem in order to make a positive, meaningful impact.

If you’re wondering how to be a good friend during hard times, I hope this story from my own experience will be a blessing and an encouragement to you.


how to be a good friend


We knew the day was coming, but that didn’t lessen the blow. In the last months of my mom’s cancer journey, every time the phone rang, my pulse quickened for fear that this was the call.

Then shortly after five o’clock one September morning, the shrill ring of our landline bolted me awake. I shot up in bed and said to my husband, “Get the phone.”

I couldn’t bear to answer it.

Sure enough, that was the morning my mom died—or night, rather, since she passed away in Michigan while I was six time zones ahead in Cape Town, South Africa.

Read the rest of this story over at The Open Door Sisterhood, about how my friends showed up for me in simple, yet meaningful ways on the day my mom died. 

Plus, The Open Door Sisterhood is giving away a copy of my memoir, A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging! Giveaway closes March 13, 2018.





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A Place to Land