“Quand on ne parvient pas à consoler”, we say in French. This alone is a problem to translate. “Parvient” is from the verb “parvenir”. Dictionaries translate it with :
- To succeed
- To manage
But it is NOT that meaning. It is not a “success” (with what, a medal, a fanfare?) to console a crying person (it’s not fixable). And “to manage” (organize, control, etc) has little to do with listening to a terribly sad somebody.
So there’s a word lacking here. A mixed of “to reach”, “to achieve”, “to manage with invisible wills and means”, “to get through”…
Achieving comfort of somebody’s grief or sorrow need a whole harp : listening means, empathy, silence, freedom, focus, acceptance and maybe conversational skills…
Becoming a father I learned that children have terrible grieving moments. Despair which comes from the heart, in the deep. Kids need security, and when they are afraid to lose it, it’s terrible. It’s one great joy when you console your child, in front of a tree moving in the wind, or during a walk, or on a chair. Listen, talk, look, hug. As a mother, a father, you need to be here, and you find your own ways.
When I read books about self help, or psychology, or mental care, I’m always very interested by a passage or a chapter about “how to listen“. Specialists think about it very closely (maybe I’ll write about this alone, one day).
Sometimes, you don’t manage to console somebody. Grief and sorrow… Because…
- It’s unconsolable
- You’re not ready
- You’re too close
- You are tired
- You are annoyed by it
- You’re overwhelmed
- You’re sad too
- You don’t understand
- You’re not strong enough
Sometimes you think you fail. Even if we can’t talk about communicating vessels, you’ll catch a part of the sadness.
Well, I think the main thing is the fact… you’re here to listen, right? If we think we didn’t manage to comfort the other one, maybe we did. A little. Because we were there.
Have a nice day!
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