Last weekend I drove two hours to attend the funeral of a dear friend’s father-in-law. It was a no-brainer whether I would go or not. It was a chance to support her and her family, so it was without question. As I was walking up to the church, her sister saw me and told me later that she immediately thought, “Of course she came… that’s what women do for each other”.

I thought about what she said on the drive home. It resonated deep and made me think. She was spot on. That’s what women do- we show up for each other.

It is who we are.

We make casseroles and we drop off flowers. We clean kitchens and we set up meal-trains. We send supportive text messages. Women rally other women to help when help is needed. Someone sends a text that something unfortunate happened and I promise you, the women will be asking “What can we do to help?”. We show up with wine or pints of ice cream or both when a friend needs us. We aren’t afraid of tears, and we don’t judge one another for being a hot mess. We hold hands and we hold hearts. We send text messages to check in and we create an invisible safety net to shield our friends from pain, often using humor to make them laugh along the way. We don’t wait to be asked to be needed, we just know in our bones what to do.

We offer empathy, generosity, vulnerability, support and intuition. We muster up courage when needed and we pump each other up when we feel old, fat or dumpy. We create safe spaces and we plan celebrations so our friends feel special. When a girlfriend needs us, we know just what to do. We cry together, laugh together and endure together.

We show up. Always.

Showing up is THE single most important thing we do as a friend. Especially as a woman for another woman. Finding those who show up for you is a treasure. It is how we survive as mothers, wives, daughters, and women who feel pulled in a million directions.

When my dad died, it was my women’s friendships that slowly healed my heart. One girlfriend sent a loving card every week for two months. Another group of women sent an UberEats gift card because they instinctively knew that making dinner was just one more thing I didn’t need to worry about. It was my female friends who checked in on me before my first Father’s Day without him and those who offered to sit in silence with me if need be. The women in my inner circle checked in often, even when I said I was okay. They knew better and they showed up even if I didn’t ask.

That’s just what we do.

There are few things in this world stronger than the power of women friendships. It is our capacity to experience love and loss, to remain strong or admit our vulnerabilities, to feel touched to tears, to be afraid yet resilient, and to create unbreakable bonds that make life manageable, livable and memorable.

I once heard that women friendships are built of a thousand small kindnesses, swapped back and forth over and over again. It is so true and simply because we chose to show up.


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