I am off somewhere, but here is an excerpt from a blog post by Mari Andrew, talking about her time as a hospital chaplain: "It’s Unfair and It Doesn’t Make Sense":
The way our culture of offering is set up, the whole-hearted feel like they have something of worth to say to the broken-hearted, the denizens of the healthy think they know more than the sick. Around those who are in pain, people suddenly assume the role of expert: “I suggest feeling your feelings. Be grateful for the good in your life.” Why do the perfectly-fine presume they have tools for the suffering? My supervisor reminded me, “The patients are your teachers. You don’t know more than they do. Other way around.”
It was so hard not to offer anything. I’ve been through enough that I know I shouldn’t try to find a bright side, or explain away the pain, or say “I know how you feel,” but it was extremely uncomfortable to sit with someone my age who was dying, or with the family member of someone who just got very bad news. I was in the position of helping them, and I thought that help meant I had to offer something. I had to leave them with a nugget, a mantra, something brilliant to soothe and uplift them.
But it doesn’t work that way.
read the whole thing here
Hat tip goes to Ariana.