Thursday, July 9, 2015

When There Are Tears Just Be


Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.
-Unknown 

Sometimes we gain lessons in life that serve us well. Today while one of our patients was doing her treatment we received a call that her husband of 61 years had died. The staff were all terrified to deal with this. Several years ago that might have been me. Working hospice and being around when people have died has taught me a bit about  just being. I approached her prepared to share the news  and found she knew. After a brief discussion it was decided to end her treatment and her family would come pick her up. I went outside where she wanted to be and asked if she wanted company or to be alone. Very much she wanted my presence. She started to talk but broke into tears. I put my arm around her and didn't say anything I just was with her. Her tears slowed after awhile and she began to speak of what was going through her. Shortly into this her family arrived, gathered her up and took her home.

The lovely thing that happened later in the day, was that her daughter took the time to call our clinic manager and tell her how touched they were by our care of her mother and to especially  thank me for the support and loving kindness I had shown. This was shared with our staff and several asked me how to handle a patient who is crying. I could only provide what I had received from my Buddhist teachers in that you don't handle someone during difficult times. When there are tears you just be. That is be present and be a witness and the rest will follow. I hope they got it. In our lives we are taught so much to do that to be is another skill entirely. I'm still very much an apprentice in this. Will I ever be a master? I don't know, but I will keep trying to learn.

Krishna Das, 'Heart As Wide As The World':


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