spiritual palliative care, support the dying, caring

Now, before you get all uppity and jumping up and down and getting mad with me, hear me out…Also, please know that I have absolutely been part of this as well.

Tell me if any of these statements resonate with you:

• You are a kind, compassionate person who loves caring for other people
• Helping others and caring for them makes your heart swell
• You are at your happiest when you know you are making a difference to help someone else
• That help mostly involves doing stuff – it’s an action-oriented energy
• People know they can rely on you
• If there’s an emergency/crisis of any sort, you are one of the first to put up your hand, roll up your sleeves and get stuck in

None of these things is bad, OK? Got it? Good?

What I am talking about is when the doing and action-oriented stuff is not required by the person we want to help. And this is where it gets tough.

Sometimes, all we need to do to support someone who’s dying is to simply hold space and/or bear witness to their journey.

What do I mean by that?

spiritual palliative care, support the dying, caring
For me, holding space for someone who is dying is simply surrounding them in pure and unconditional love. I do this either via going into a meditative space or it can be done by intent.

The other thing I mentioned is bearing witness to their journey. This means allowing the person to experience their journey in their own way, allowing them to work through things as they come up (and they do) and just being there for them and providing them with the space to share their experience, knowing that you aren’t going to try to fix things for them.

Because sometimes, nothing needs fixing or can be fixed.

Sometimes, the person who is dying just needs a safe space; to feel like you are holding them safely in the palm of your hands.

spiritual palliative care, support the dying, caring

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you will know that I ALWAYS bang on about how our dying deserve to have their end journey defined by them. This is part of that. Sometimes, they need to fully experience the journey to get to acceptance.

I have been a rescuer in my life – let’s be honest, there’s a romantic, heroic aspect about it. But that’s all about us and not the other person. We are disempowering others when we seek to rescue them, without their permission. It’s kind of like we know best. But we don’t. It’s not our end journey – our turn will come, all too quickly in this brief life of ours.

We best honour and serve our dying by allowing them to determine the nature of their journey.

To say what help they do or don’t need. To say when they need action-oriented support or if they just need someone to bear witness to their experience. If you’re not sure, ask. Some people aren’t good at initiating conversations, verbalising what they need, but if they are offered options, that may make their lives easier.

Our intent is absolutely pure with our desire to help, that is not in question, but sometimes we can’t fix everything and sometimes things don’t need fixing.

With peace & blessings, Sharon

PS There is one exclusion to this…if the action is bring chocolate, do that. Chocolate fixes everything

spiritual palliative care, support the dying, caring