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When trouble comes your soul to try,
You love the friend who just "stands by."
Perhaps there is nothing he can do--
The thing is strictly up to you;

For there are troubles all your own,
And paths the soul must tread alone;
Times when love cannot smooth the road
Nor friendship lift the heavy load,
But just to know you have a friend
Who will "stand by" until the end,
Whose sympathy through all endures,
Whose warm handclasp is always yours--

It helps, someway, to pull you through,
Although there's nothing he can do.
And so with fervent heart you cry,
"God bless the friend who just "stands by'!"

by B. Y. Williams

When my son died in the early 90s, we wanted our family and friends to understand how important their presence had been throughout his illness. They felt that they didn't have much to offer us, but we knew better. And so I wrote this poem to let them know how we felt. Hope that you'll find it useful. BY

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Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, New York 10468

Last updated: March 31, 2006