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Friday, April 26, 2013

The Power of Presence

In our heart-felt desire as human beings to fix things, remove obstacles, and generally smooth the path for others, we sometimes neglect and/or underestimate the healing power of simple presence with another who is struggling.  The act appears simple on the outside.  But,  those who offer this gift of presence to another understand that it takes quite a bit of intentionality, patience, flexibility, active listening, other-centeredness and, oftentimes, personal discomfort as we bear witness to the hardship of another.   Sometimes what we think others need in a situation completely misses the mark.  If we are lucky, we will be told what is helpful and what is not.  Most of the time, however, the individual seeking support may not know what they need and may simply be too tired to try to articulate it to another.  People want to be kind and grateful for whatever support is given that they may say nothing out of fear that the support will be taken away.   It is a vicious cycle.  Can you connect with that experience from either perspective? 

One person did.  Below is a piece of wisdom written from the perspective of one living with Alzheimer's to those who are caregivers.  A friend shared this with me and you can see a video at An Alzheimer's Request.  This is an informative website for those impacted by Alzheimer's.  Do you know of a website or writing that would be helpful to others?  Email me and we will share your information as space allows.  On behalf of AWBA to those we serve, we thank you for giving us a place in your support network to be a listening presence.

An Alzheimer's Request

Do not ask me to remember.
Don't try to make me understand.
Let me rest and know you're with me.
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand.
I'm confused beyond your concept.
I am sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you
To be with me at all costs.
Please do not lose your patience with me.
Do not scold me or curse or cry.
I can't help the way I'm acting.
I can't be different though I try.
Just remember that I need you
And that the best of me is gone.
Please don't fail to stand beside me
And love me till my life is done.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this... it is so timely for my family as we seek to be present for a family member who is now traveling the journey of early onset dementia. Thank you for this reminder of the importance of presence...