Sitting With The Dying

By Lisa Pahl, LCSW 


"Eye contact is more intimate than words will ever be." -Poets Cafe 

When sitting with someone who is seriously ill or dying, oftentimes they are unable to speak much, if at all.

Sometimes your greatest tool is to just sit. Hold their hand. Sit. Allow for silence. Provide gentle words of reassurance occasionally. Sit some more.

You make eye contact several times. Perhaps the first time they seem to be searching for reassurance.

You remain with them, providing gentle touch. You sit.

You make eye contact again, this time their eyes seem calmer. You have stayed. You’re still there.

The last time they make eye contact, you see peace.

You’ve said so little, yet done so much. By holding space, being present, making eye contact.

These moments are among the most intimate we will experience in life.

What a privilege when we can share this profound moment with another human.

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