Comforting Arm

comforting arm

I started to learn about true love when I walked “El Camino de Santiago” in 2011. I didn’t understand then what the universe was showing me…though I felt it…and now it is a little clearer…thanks to what it means to be a mother, but at the same time a woman who is trying to be true to herself. I still have to soooo much to learn about love.

Lately, I have been reading a book by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, called Life Lessons. Maybe some of you can tell based on some of my latest posts. 🙂 Today I’d like to share a story she wrote that deeply affected me.

“Being there is everything in love, in life and in dying. Many years ago, I noticed an interesting phenomenon in a hospital. Many of the dying patients began to feel wonderful; not so much physically , but mentally. This wasn’t because of me, but because of the cleaning woman. Every time she walked into the room of one of my dying patients, something would happen. I would have given a million dollars to learn that woman’s secret.

One day I saw her in the hallway and said to her rather curtly, “What are you doing with my dying patients?”

“I’m only cleaning the rooms,” she replied defensively.

Determined to know how she was making people feel good, I followed her around. But I couldn’t figure out what special thing she was doing. After a few weeks of snooping around like this, she grabbed me and dragged me into a room behind the nurses’ station. She told me how, some time ago, one of her six children had become very ill one winter. In the middle of the night she took her three-year-old son to the emergency room, where she sat with him on her lap, desperately waiting hours for the physician to come But no one came, and she watched her little boy die of pneumonia, in her arms. She shared all this pain and agony without hate, without resentment, without anger, without negativity.

“Why are you telling me this?” I asked. “What has this to do with my dying patients?”

“Death is not a stranger to me anymore,” she replied. “He is like an old acquaintance. Sometimes when I walk into the rooms of your dying patients, they look so scared. I can’t help but walk over to them and touch them. I tell them I’ve seen death, and when it happens, they will be okay. And I just stay there with them. I may want to run, but I don’t. I try to be there for the other person. That is love.”

Unschooled in the ways of psychology and medicine, this woman knew one of the greatest secrets in life: love is being there, and caring.

Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond our control, we can’t be there physically. But that doesn’t mean we’re not connected in love.”

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross-

*photo by David Peat,