Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Guide To Peaceful Death - Magdolna Singer

guide to peaceful death - magdolna singer
guide to peaceful death - magdolna singer

The path to death is an intensely personal event. The dying face unanswerable questions and they seek out the secret, their innermost secret. They often feel lonely and outcast in this the most sensitive period of their lives. Those who accompany them along this difficult path can facilitate the process most effectively with their trust and presence.
During our lifetime we all wish to be listened to and paid attention to. We also know that other people long for the same attention. At a patient's bedside, however, we loose confidence and feel embarrassment. Many people think that patients need an interlocutor, a lady companion, someone to cheer them up or console them. When we want to do something or help, we think of some activity. But the most effective thing we can do is to listen to them in a devoted and active way. Some of us know that the most important thing is to listen to others but in certain situations we forget or are unable to do it, or we think that silence, that is passive listening is enough. Being able to listen is a complex skill, which takes a long time to acquire. It depends less on intellectual capacities than on the degree of emotional and personal development. While learning to listen to someone in an active way, one may also witness an incredible development in one's own personality.
I have been working with dying people for years as a voluntary lay member of a hospice team. My personal experiences have taught me how important understanding attention is at the bedside of a relative, friend or acquaintance. Yet, I am still learning the art of 'listening well'. This concerns sensitive, attentive presence, about remaining silent and listening. Silence — 'keeping quiet' — is also a very intense form of communication. Silence can be maintained in many ways although it is difficult to master. Remaining silent alongside a dying person is an exceptional task.


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