presence

“Through a Time of Darkness … I Found the Solid Point of a Restart” I cannot look at the countless events that happened in the past year but with a great gratitude which moves me to tears. It has, paradoxically, been the toughest year and at the same time the most revolutionary one because of […]

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… acknowledgment of the personhood of sufferers and affirmation of their condition and struggle have long been recognized as the most basic and sustaining of moral acts, whether among the friendship and kin network or in patient—physician and other professional relationships. The laying on of hands, empathic witnessing, listening to the illness narrative, and providing […]

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The capacity to give one’s attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. Nearly all those who think they have this capacity do not possess it. Warmth of heart, impulsiveness, pity are not enough. In the first legend of the Grail, it is […]

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“The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don’t even look for them any more. They have been […]

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Following the Patient: The Key to Medical Care

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One day, Mary, a friend of mine, interviewed a woman who had survived a prolonged, traumatic ordeal.  After listening to her terrible story, she asked the woman what she desired.  “Nothing,” came the response.  But Mary could not believe it, and insisted:  “What is your greatest desire?”  And the woman answered, “Just to die.”  Mary […]

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“Mystery is not the absence of meaning. It’s the presence of more meaning than we can comprehend.” Dennis Covington – Image Journal 77

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I am a nurse, and this week I met a fifty year-old lady, who was admitted to my ward because she had muscular dystrophy which had caused her to become paralyzed and unable to breathe. Already the day she was admitted, she had grabbed my arm and had told me: “Let me die!”. The other […]

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Listening … is the capacity to be present before the other, leaving him all the space he needs to manifest himself. The silence of the listener is an offered, given silence. Listening is a kind of creation, because in listening to someone we allow him to be himself, we collaborate in the revelation of who […]

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… Dr. Elvira Parravicini describes her neonatal hospice program (starts at 16:00) … “Take care of your newborn and your newborn will tell you what to do … follow them … it’s always a mystery … this sense of lack of power leaves room to the Mystery that comes and casts light on doubts … […]

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