I Know Exactly How You Feel

It’s amazing how that statement can piss people off at the exact time you are trying to help them.  I have been through my share of loss with my extensive career in healthcare.  What I have learned from my 13 plus years is that it’s best to be quiet….until someone else starts talking because THEY ALWAYS DO!

I was in the most awkward situation yesterday.  I was with a family member that was visiting her father on hospice.  There are different stages of the dying process and according to the medical data he would not be with us for much longer.  (There is a book called “Gone From My Sight” – The Dying Experience by Barbara Karnes.  It is a wonderful tool to share with families experiencing loss.)  I was in the hallway with her for less than 12 minutes and we heard THREE other stories about how someone, somewhere else, died.   I was trying so hard to be polite.  I can’t even imagine how the daughter felt listening to these other irrelevant examples of dead parents.  I don’t want to be harsh, but that was what it was.  We all know the end result will be the same.  You never know how someone else feels – so don’t assume you do.  The best practice is to shut your mouth and open your ears.