by Gail Hamm, program director
Sitting with a client or family member who is expressing deep emotion can be uncomfortable. But it is equally uncomfortable for the person who is opening her heart and expressing her deepest feelings. Cancer Services’ advocates experience this opportunity on a daily basis. I say opportunity, because it is an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to actively listen and not have to offer advice or solutions; an opportunity to share sacred space with another human being.
What do you say to a man who has just told you that he has two months to live? What do you say to a mother who has just told you that her daughter will never see her sixth birthday? Advocates do not take this responsibility lightly. They realize the sacredness of the moment. It is all about being. Being present, being thoughtful, being in a listening mode. It is not necessarily about doing.
Care and compassion, empathy and acceptance…..being with our clients and their families is the greatest gift Cancer Services’ advocates can give.