This article is re-posted with permission. We thank Gabrielle Elise Jimenez, hospice nurse, end-of-life doula, and conscious dying educator, for sharing her experiences at thehospiceheart.net blog.
I saw a quote today, “when the elderly die, a library is lost and volumes of wisdom and knowledge are gone.” This got me thinking about how much wisdom and knowledge the elderly have, and how important I think it is that we sit down with them and let them share.
I sit with patients almost every day, most of which who are over 80, the oldest being 107. The stories I hear, their opinions about the world today, and so many thoughts about love and relationships… I have received the very best advice about that!!!
I was sitting at the bedside of a man who was dying, with his wife of 62 years. That is a really long time (all of my relationships together do not add up to that) and I find it truly beautiful when I see a love that has lasted that long. I always ask “how did you meet,” and “what is the secret to making a relationship last?” I love the stories about how they met, their courtship, their struggles and their strengths… I could listen for hours. And the advice is usually pretty much the same; you have to have trust, communication and deep friendship… without that you cannot possibly survive.
If you are blessed to still have grandparents or parents, sit down with them, talk to them, listen to them… you might be surprised at how much sense they make relative to life, and love. If you have small children, encourage them to do the same. And if you happen to have a little extra time on your hands, look into volunteering… it will be so good for your heart and soul… and imagine what it might do for the person sitting next to you!!!
Grab hold of those volumes of wisdom and knowledge so their stories are not lost… help pass them along so their legacy is never left behind.