This picture came up in my Facebook memories today. One year ago. My mum had died and I was still waiting to get across the border, amid the chaos of lockdown travel restrictions.

I spent a few hours at this beautiful spot, sitting, chatting with a great mate, looking over the water, with a good, cold beer. My mate had intentionally created a safe space for me to talk, grieve, cry and vent! He picked a great location, he brought the esky.

He didn’t need to say much. He didn’t try to fix anything. He listened, laughed and cried with me. My mate understood the power of presence – simply being there for another!

A week later I had made it to Newcastle and walked into my mum’s church for her funeral. One of the first people I saw was my mate from Melbourne. He had driven all the way to Newcastle to again be present with me!

Today I am so thankful for authentic mates who you can journey with in all seasons of life.

And I am reminded again of the power of presence. Simply being there for someone. Listening. Loving. Not judging or fixing. Letting them know they are not alone.