Sometimes people visit this site looking for guidance on how to speak with and support someone they love, someone who happens to be ill.
When we honestly ask which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not-knowing, not-curing, not-healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness... makes it clear that whatever happens in the external world, being present to each other is what really matters.
--Henri J.M. Nouwen