I’m reading “On Death and Dying” by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, which would have to be one of the must reads for anyone looking to do work with the dying. It came about from research she did in the 1960’s by talking to patients who were dying. It’s also the source of the 5 stages of Grief model for the person who is dying.
I love what she has to say about just being present & this little passage really spoke to me & captures perfectly part of what I do & why I do it…
“The dying patient may just make a gesture of the hand to invite us to sit down for a while. They may just hold out hand and ask us to sit in silence.
Such moments of silence may be the most meaningful communications for people who are not uncomfortable in the presence of a dying person.
It takes just a little time, but it is comforting for the patient to know that they are not forgotten when nothing else can be done for them.”
So often, when a person is on their end journey, life becomes more about the illness or what needs to be done or the fact that they are dying. But they are still here. They are still a person who has value. They are still a person who has worth. And they deserve to be treated as such. They are not dead yet.
Yes, it can be an overwhelming experience for loved ones & it is certainly a heartbreaking journey. But I know from first hand experience the gifts that can be given & received by sharing a silent experience like this with people who are on their end journey. It’s about just being present, it’s about just sharing that silent space & allowing your hearts & souls to carry the communication in these times.
I am soooo excited to be able to share these experiences – yes, it might sound weird to some, but to me it is the greatest privilege & honour to be present & serve in this way. My heart just sings at even just the thought of just being present.
When one of your loved ones embarks on their end journey, make the time if you can to do this – even if it means stretching your comfort zone. I absolutely promise the rewards from just being present in this way will waaaaaaaay outweigh your initial discomfort.
With much love, Sharon