Holding Space – Sit, Be Present, No Distractions and Listen

I disappeared to help the whole
get back to normalcy; whatever that is?
What I found, normal was still around, we just forgot about it.
Until it slaps you in the face.
– JuleSimone

Another week is coming to an end, my thoughts travel to those who are navigating a new world. Not being able to directly speak specifics often leaves me to my own processing. Whose life has and will change. Who will need help to navigate a life changing diagnosis? Whose world will change with the loss of a loved one. Yes folks, believe it or not, life is going on. While we are so focused on the “C” word, covid, life is still going on for all of us. It came clear for our family when a loved one suffered a heart attack and spent three weeks in hospital. Yes, life goes on, it doesn’t stop because the big “C” is out there.

Taught to count my blessings, a difficult task to master and I am no master, the blessing I have is my line of work. Each and everyday I am reminded how very fortunate we are as a family because the journey’s people have been dealt with during these times is crazy. Often alone, with no family they traverse their medical journeys while their loved ones wait with bated breath for updates. No one should have to, but here we are. Cancer, cardiovascular events, and accidents don’t care…they still show up while we remain focused on covid. Perspective!

People are and are continually encountering life changing events. As an End-of-Life Doula this is part of my reality. Everyday there is an opening to hold space; more than likely you are not even realizing you are. People want to share and be heard with no judgement. They want someone to be present. As I soon became aware, sometimes all you have is five minutes, make the most of the five minutes. I encourage you to sit, be present, no distractions and listen. Hold space.

Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.
– Henri Nouwen

I sat with many during my part of the vaccine rollout. It became more than a jab; it developed into an opportunity to hold space. Time and time again, people would share their stories, ask questions, express their fears and often all I could offer is a listening ear, they left with gratitude and walked away being heard.

A client once said to me “I like that I can be real with you, I can share, I don’t have to protect you.: As we chatted it was clear; she was able to be real with no need to protect me from the emotions of her potential terminal diagnosis. She knew I didn’t have all the answers, I knew I didn’t have to have an answer. I listened, acknowledged what was being said, offered encouragement, while she moved through her journey.

If we practice being present with the living, it will become second nature with our dying.
– JuleSimone

Strength, Love and Light – Julie