Friday, June 18, 2021

Helping our patients to hold fear, sadness, and struggles with love and gratitude


I remembered one of my palliative care patients. She had a wonderful loving family, and coped well despite the challenges.

How did they do it?

They were holding the fear, sadness, and struggles with love and gratitude.

So what have they taught me?

You can’t hold fear with fear.
You can’t hold sadness with sadness.
You can’t use “struggle” to hold the struggles.

The trick is to hold the fear, sadness, and struggles with a more compelling feeling like love or gratitude. Some will use duty, responsibility and loyalty. Whatever it is, it has to be a value or feeling more compelling than the fear, sadness, and struggles itself. 

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