“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I stood at the pulpit struggling to speak. I could string only a few words together before punctuating them with sobs. My wife’s arms came around me, steadying my stance and helping me breathe. I was speaking at the funeral of our baby daughter, Jane, trying to articulate my love while still processing the unbearable grief of losing her. My wife’s embrace assured me I wasn’t alone in carrying this burden. Her simple but profound gesture gave me the strength to continue.

All of us, at some point—maybe many points in life—need someone to embrace us and assure us we’re not alone. That whatever burden we carry, they’ll shoulder it with us.

Every day, there is someone in our circle of influence who needs this kind of gesture. We often don’t realize it because most burdens go unseen. People suffer in silence.

I’m learning to see others through this lens, to treat every soul with compassion. When someone can’t find the strength to go on, I want them to know I’ll always be there with a warm embrace and steadying hand.

— Dallin McKinnon