There comes a point in life when you are waiting for death. Your first experience might be with a loved one. Your loved one has fought the good fight, but they have lost and their time on earth is coming to a close. You are left with nothing to do but wait.
Most of us don’t wait well. We want to do something, say something, or find something to keep us busy. But in this case, there is nothing else to do and no where else to go.
So, what do you do in this time of waiting?
If you have something you want to say to your loved one, this is the time. Do you need to tell them you love them? Do you want to get something off your chest? Do it now or you might miss the opportunity. If you loved one doesn’t seem aware of what you are saying, it doesn’t mean it isn’t healing you both.
Just be there. Hold your loved one’s hand. Sit by their bed. Read them a book they love. Or just sit there and be. You don’t have to do anything. Just being there is such a powerful statement of love. It may seem strange that doing nothing could mean so much, but it does. Witnessing and just being there for someone is such a powerful experience and one you will never forget. One that will allow you to know how much you did for someone you loved. Don’t dismiss the power of this time.
You might be saying, “it feels wrong to just be waiting for someone you love to die.” Certainly you are not doing anything active in this time, but there is nothing wrong with being there holding the space for someone to make their transition to the other side.
As a consultant, I had to learn about the power of quiet. When a colleague would ask a client a question and they didn’t have an immediate answer, I would try to jump in and fill the space. Quiet is such an uncomfortable thing. However, the lesson I learned (and one I really appreciate being given) is the power of the quiet. Eventually, the client will say something and it will be their thoughts or ideas rather than mine. The same is true here. Just waiting will allow your loved one to make their transition knowing you have been holding the space just for them.
Just being there is precious. It is tiring. It is hard. And it will eventually come to an end. So while you may not enjoy this time, learn to treasure it when you have the honor of being there.