Over the years we have helped a large number of people in stressful situations dealing with death, violence, loss of independence or family break down. We have seen many people do unhelpful things in their well intentioned attempt to help.
This morning I had a small grass fire in my front yard. I had to decide whether to take the kids and get them away, or stay and deal with the fire myself until the fire persons arrived. It wasn't a major event but I was understandably rattled afterwards.
Afterwards a friend came around with a thirty cent ice cream cone for each of the kids and a takeaway coffee for me. She made it plain she couldn't stay long, so I didn't feel the need to invite her in or entertain her (I was actually on my way out) but this small act spoke volumes to me.
Additionally what this also communicates to me is that if I need help I can ask her.
Stressed people need to know that people care and will be there for them. Little actions speak volumes.