“compassion is absurdly easy to neglect”

I was struck by this excellent article in the Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/living-with-chronic-fatigue-how-i-wish-my-friends-would-treat-me/

Many: live with complex conditions which lack a “tidy diagnosis”; suffer what Lucy Mayhew bravely describes as “..paralysing physical pain, fear and despair” and are left “..casting about for viable medical help”.

There are  two things that keep Lucy Mayhew going: “..stubborn determination that there is a path to recovery and savouring small gifts of compassion.” An extract from a letter she wrote following a visit from a friend is hugely touching:

“‘As I cried you hugged me and said you knew what a huge amount I had done and how endlessly hard I had been trying to find a path back to health.'”

She goes on to explain this “…did more good than anything else could possibly have done…it helped…” and that “..bearing testimony to a person’s suffering..transcends pity. It’s love as understanding which is priceless”.

The article continues: “We may be unable to affect the outcome of a hellish circumstance, but the way it is experienced can always be altered and improved” and concludes with

“Five practical ways to show compassion to someone who is continually ill:

  1. Be patient and constant…
  2. Share your life…
  3. Be sensitive…
  4. Avoid belittling commentary…
  5. Show you believe..”

It is humbling to see, first hand, the care, love, devotion, kindness and compassion that friends, family and carers provide. I will try to learn from you.

I am in constant awe of my clients. You endure so much. It is my privilege to work with and for you.

I wish your circumstances were different. I share your hope.

Thank you, Lucy Mayhew.

 

 

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