Sometimes all you need is a listening ear
You have lost your spouse: your very best friend, your confidant, your partner in life. You are consumed with grief, you are devastated, and don’t know what to do or where to turn.
You may have children or siblings, but they are not entirely all that you need at this juncture in your life. Your close friends are mostly gone, and those remaining may be too feeble or ill to be able to give you the solace and comfort you need.
What in the world are you going to do?
How will you function alone?
Yes, you are bitter. You ask yourself, “Why did this have to happen to me?” Now is the time to take a deep breath, take a couple of steps back, and carefully assess your situation – rationally and objectively.
I know this will not be an easy task for most folks who may be in their 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s. Most of these folks are not old, they just grew older. Thus far, they have led reasonably active lives. Their mobility may have slowed, but their minds are clear and sharp. They need to be able to talk about their frustrations and what’s troubling them. They need some consolation.
That is where “Silent Therapy” comes in.
This does not mean talking to someone on the telephone which lacks a visual connection, nor Skype where there is no human touch or feeling. It’s a face-to-face sit-down where one person talks and one person listens. Their eyes meet and the silent participant can read the other person’s emotions. This is what the telephone or Skype does not afford.
The warmth of another human being sitting across from you can and does make a world of difference. There are times that people, whether they realize it or not, do need someone just to talk to. A shoulder to cry on (so to speak). Someone to vent their feelings and thoughts. Someone just to listen and not be judgmental. Someone with which to have a one-sided conversation, if that is the choice. Often a stranger or a friend is a better option than a family member. Just being able to talk out loud to someone – rather than keeping it bottled up inside – can be helpful and therapeutic.
This type of discussion can often bring a solution, as well as comfort, without the “listener” saying a word. This type of discourse could lead to being a two-way street, with both parties reaping the benefits.
In God’s ultimate wisdom, we are put on this earth for a reason. Some do not live long enough to fulfill their destiny. Some fail their mission. Some are successful. Some few achieve greater success than their peers. Destiny determines who we shall meet. When, why, how, and ultimately for what purpose.
In the same vein, destiny decides who will be completely and decisively be removed from the picture without notice. Who will simply fade away without reason. Who will be brought onto the scene. It’s like a stage play where roles come and go at the writer’s whim: there are licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, priests, rabbis, ministers, therapists, and counselors, with which to consult. There are those good people, well-intentioned men and women, whom God has chosen, due to circumstance or life experience, to perform “silent therapy.” This select unsuspecting group are good listeners. They are able to listen and not dispel advice; and by doing so project a good feeling to the other person. In essence, they are a shoulder to cry on. They might also be a safety net to the other person.
In my lifetime, and in retrospect, God has sent me a variety of “angels,” then has taken them away when their assignment was complete.
They will forever be in my heart, for which I am thankful and eternally grateful.