Last week the wife of one of my counsellors died. She had been sick for a very long time, and though she had deteriorated quickly in the weeks preceding her passing, it was still a shock to many in the ward.
I have gone through this experience before with another family but I still felt woefully inadequate to comfort and counsel a man, who was not only 45 years my senior, but who also has been a faithful member of the Church longer than I have been alive. I love him and his wife but there was nothing I could say that did not seem trite or insignificant when faced with such overwhelming pain. As I watched him shift between reminiscent laughter and deep sadness I could not patronise nor condescend to offer hollow words of advice. I felt what it is like to despise my youth.