From Kerry Egan’s On Living:
When someone tells you the story of their suffering, they are probably still suffering in some way. No one else gets to decide what that suffering means, or if it has any meaning at all. And we sure as hell don’t get to tell someone that God never gives anybody more than they can handle or that God has a plan. We do not get to cut off someone’s suffering at the pass by telling them it has some greater purpose. Only they get to decide if that’s true. All we can do is sit and listen to them tell their stories, if they want to tell them. And if they don’t, we can sit with them in silence.
This is well said. Thise suffering are the ones to lead us as we care for them…. do they want to talk about, be distracted by conversation or simply sit in the silence of the pain… we follow them.
I wish American culture had more rituals of grief( like the Jewish traditions perhaps)… but thankfully there are quotes like the one you shared to remind us that the suffering have a story to tell -and sometimes they even tell it aloud. It is an honor to sit and listen. In silence.
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