How do you serve a friend in despair?
That was the title of an opinion piece I read in the New York Times earlier this year. It was written by columnist David Brooks, and it recounted—painfully and poignantly—the experience he had watching his childhood friend struggle through severe depression, a disease that resulted in him losing his life to suicide. The hallmark of this time period for him was the experience he had of not knowing how to be there for his friend who was suffering. He struggled to find the right words, to find the correct approach of support, and was bewildered by the sense of impotence this caused him. He wanted so desperately to help, so why couldn’t he?