I am a person who prefers to listen rather than talk, so listening skills is something I understand. The part that I was having trouble with was the “just be” part of my hospice volunteering.
A personal experience changed that for me. I was sitting in the surgery waiting room at the hospital, my husband was having his second triple bypass, there was only six years between this one and the first one. My children were there as were many friends coming and going. I was surrounded by a wonderful support system.
On my right and left sides sat two long time friends. The one to my left talked continuously. The stories about her darling dog and his cute tricks. The recipes for some jello thing she makes. I recall something about travel and how everyone loves her pictures.

The friend on my right sat quietly reading a book or working a crossword puzzle. The only time my friend on the right spoke was when I spoke to her. Sallie would put her book or crossword puzzle down and turn to me and listen. That day I knew what “just be” meant. I remember every little of the conversation to the left of me and I was very happy when she had to leave.

My friend Sallie stays with me to this day


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