Thé present for every sick person? Give time!
Imagine that one day you are taken into hospital and put in a bed for months on end. You are lying there. Alone. Waiting. Connected to a drip, plastic tubes and beeping monitors, while your eyes are constantly turning towards the door of your room. Because there is no-one.
Specialists and nurses come to your bed every so often. They give you attention and take care of you. It is not always easy, because the work pressure is high. It is often a hurried care. There is not much time for other things. At the same time it is not necessary to talk to the nurses about living with uncomfort, pain and loss. They know, better than anyone, the hard and rough side of a hospital bed.
Let us be grateful that they ARE there and do what they DO.
Being a patient is under-estimated. To be seriously ill, feels life threatening. Illness throws you back, confronts and makes you dependent. Isolates. When something is seriously wrong with your body, your spirit follows. A lot of things happen. Questions about life, belief and other issues arise. They force you to look at things in a different way. Unasked-for your heart is put to the test, your spirit chastened.
It is the inside of life that knocks at the door, holds up a mirror and invites you to be different, to look for answers, to be receptive to new, until then, unknown insights.
Therefore, do not enter a sickroom in order to talk and talk. The sick suffer and struggle with a lot, fight against sadness and loss, live with uncertainty, confusion, fear and many unanswered questions.
Every ” And how are you ?”…
…is best followed by a respectful silence and listening. Give them the time to speak, the possibility to search for words or … to say nothing at all. In the context of drastic questions of life and death , silence is often suitable. Because when language is not enough, silence can be meaningful.
By ‘being there’ and listening, you give a sick person that which he needs most: presence. Or is it ‘being inside’?
Dutch original / Nederlands origineel: Hét cadeau voor elke zieke? Geef tijd!