What Can You Do When Someone You Love is Down in the Dumps?

How To Stand Tall When You Feel Eaten Away...

What do you do when the person you love is down in the dumps? It’s hard to see someone you love so depressed. My friend Mike wrote me that when his wife is miserable, she wears her shoulders for earrings. So hunched over. So blue.

I’ve been visiting my mother in a nursing home/rehab center. It is very tough to see her suffering. She’s lain in bed for the past month since she fell down and broke her hip. She’s not getting better. She has stopped eating. “Well, wouldn’t you?” she asked me. “Did you ever eat a piece of salmon that you can also use as a hockey puck?”

Outside her window, the trees are full and green. It’s so beautiful but she can’t enjoy it. She’s lost her will to live. And all I can do is hold her hand and say…nothing. There’s nothing I can say to cheer her up. It is what it is.

All I can do is make the most of this minute, this hour. The Sanskrit poet Kalidasa wrote, “Look to this day for it is life, the very life of life!”

What strategies have you tried when someone you love is down in the dumps?

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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