Wednesday, July 31, 2013


“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”   Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Guest Blogger: Alice Kalso

As life draws to a close for your aging parent--or for any of us, for that matter--the complex becomes simple.  Dr. Ira Byock, MD, physician and author of "The Four Things That Matter Most," boils down the essence of end of life into four sentences:

1.  Please forgive me.
2.  I forgive you.
3.  Thank you.
4.  I love you.

Notice the order of the sentences.  Forgiveness comes first. Not terribly surprising.

Dr. Byock's preface contains a meaningful quote by theologian Paul Tillich about forgiveness.

"Forgiving presupposes remembering.  And it creates a forgetting, not in the natural way we forget yesterday's weather; but in the way of the great 'inspite' that says I forget although I remember: Without this kind of forgetting no human relationship can endure healthily."

Our job is to listen, support and affirm.  And  forgive.  As we hear these four sentences--either audibly or nonverbally--we enfold our aging parent in love.


No comments:

Post a Comment