Conversations can be a fleeting exchange or a 30-minute heart-to-heart connection, yet the takeaway is always the same. They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Those words have been attributed to Maya Angelou, Carol Buchner, and others. What to say, when to say it, how to say it? It’s a common dilemma when loved ones are confronting life’s toughest journeys. The fear of saying the wrong thing, or not knowing what to say, often evokes a fight or flight response. Sadly, too many choose flight — just when they’re needed most.
When Your Mom Has Cancer it conjures up all sorts of images and concerns. Forthright conversations infused with compassion and hope are essential when cancer invades a home. We will all experience grief and loss, sooner or later, children included. When we avoid digging into such emotionally charged situations – When Mom’s Cancer Doesn’t Go Away, When Your Grandma Forgets or When Your Mom (or Dad) Goes to War – loved ones are left with confusion, doubt, fear and worry INSTEAD OF understanding, clarity, hope and optimism. They will remember how it made them feel. What they carry becomes them.
In sitting down for Conversations with Jeff Weeks, I had prayed a simple prayer: Please let my words help people feel an anchor of hope. I’d been given a privileged 30-minute window into people’s lives. I don’t take such opportunities lightly. I knew that how I made viewers feel would resonate long after what I’d said. In the end, the takeaway message was this: Take heart. Choose fight not flight. There’s incredible strength in collective effort. Together, we are an Anchor of Hope.