Showing Up

Published on 18 September 2006 by

Category: New Blog Posts, Updates


From Ted

I was talking to a friend today about how hard it was for me to not be able to “fix” a current situation for a loved one. I believe that I carry a perpetual need to relieve other people’s, (especially loved ones), physical, emotional, and psychic pain. I feel the greatest angst when it is clear that I can’t make things better.

As I was telling my friend about my frustration with my powerlessness to make things better in this particular situation, I was reminded of my friend John, who died several years ago. John had diabetes. One day I was called and told that John had been taken to the hospital after suffering five heart attacks within four hours. I rushed to the hospital to see him and it immediately was clear that this was it. He wasn’t going to get any better. Though he was still alive, it was only a matter of time before he died. There was serious doubt as to whether he would ever regain consciousness.

I recall even now, how hopeless and depressed I felt as I walked to my car from his hospital room. I said to my wife “Well, I guess there is nothing I can do”. She, as she is so good at doing, reminded me “Well, you may not be able to fix this, but you can keep showing up and be with him during this time”.

In a flash I was reminded that sometimes all I can do is show up. I was reminded that sometimes that is absolutely the best thing I can “do”. I was reminded how in my life, at those most hopeless of times when there is nothing that anyone can do, someone just showing up, administering a touch or a kiss on the forehead was just the right and only thing to “do”.

That’s the best I can do in this moment for my loved one. And that is enough.


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