When I was a student nurse, I had finished observing an "open and close" surgery, meaning a terminally ill patient. Thankfully those days are almost gone--we can almost always do something for the patient now. I followed my patient to the recovery room, where his surgeon talked to me while waiting for the patient to awaken. He told me that I was doing the one thing for the patient that no one else could do at that moment--I was going through the experience of suffering with him. Those words have remained with me for my thirty years of practice. Yes, of course suffering must be confronted. At times our only offering may be to meet and share it, with prayer or simply with our presence (or both). Thank you for your offering of yourself. You're aiming well toward the mark. kait
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