You can’t grieve for them. There is no amount of tears you can shed that will lessen theirs.
When my kid is sick, there is no amount of sick I can make myself (with worry, no doubt) that will make them better.
There is no amount of fear you can feel that will make someone’s plight less scary.
I recently coached an incredible woman who was putting herself through emotional hell because part of her (a very small, irrational part, but a part, nonetheless) believed that if she suffered enough it might circumvent some of her son’s suffering.
It doesn’t work that way, and just the opposite is true. The way we heal other people is by staying calm, connected to our peaceful core, and by not crossing that line into the mess they are feeling.
That messy stuff is not real, anyway. Only love is real and anything that’s not love is ego junk, mental byproduct, human fear. It’s all just psychology, not reality.
Staying peaceful and connected in the face of their terror is not heartless. It’s actually the most loving thing you can do for them.
There is nothing noble about diving into their pain. That only magnifies and spreads the pain and freaks them out even more.
Please know, I’m not talking about denying anything. Acknowledge their pain if you want—it’s very real for them. Give them the space to feel it fully. But by all means, do not jump into their fearful and frantic story.
Those fear-based thoughts are only the survival mechanism in their brain running out of whack; giving them more validity or attention isn’t helpful.
When I teach people to become life coaches, I explain that part of their job is to see their clients as the highest version of who they are (which, again, is pure love and nothing more).
So do that. If you want to truly help someone, see them as the highest version of who they are. View them without their temporary ego-distortion.
Be the leader by allowing them to stay in full possession of whatever they feel and do not be tempted to feel it for them.
There is nothing helpful about spreading fear. Let them own it and stand in peace instead.