A colleague of mine is walking through a difficult, soul stretching season right now. A hospitalized family member is in pretty bad shape. Chances are they won’t make it long enough to receive the transplant that is needed to survive.
Future plans are being examined from every side and new angles are being contemplated. “If this happens then I could do XYZ to manage things as they develop. I would be willing to try Plan C to become more available for them . . .” She was sharing the situation with me and processing incoming thoughts all at once.
I listened with compassion as this very rational, highly intelligent person shared a mix of strategies and possible scenarios all the while sprinkling in snippets of who this dear one of their’s once was. Micro moments of their childhood and such—peppering the current reality, that of their loved one being at the very doorstep of eternity—with fleeting thoughts pulled from an entire lifetime spent together.
I listened. What else can we do in such a moment? So often we feel as though we must offer an intentional, meaningful, and if we get it just right, powerful word of encouragement. Sometimes though there is power bestowed to the burdened other just by giving them our unhurried and undivided attention and compassion, allowing them to process a situation that is beyond their own control. There is a certain grace to that when the moment calls for us to be silent and listen with Love.