The power to listen to someone in need

Written by Ashley Lopez

A few weeks ago, at work, I called a patient to the back and told her we were ready to start preliminary testing.

I asked, “how are you, ma’am?”

“Really sad.” She stopped walking and stood motionless in the waiting room. “My husband just died. I’ve been crying for days. Today is my last day with his insurance.”

My heart sank. This poor woman. I wanted so badly to hug her, but would it be weird if a stranger hugged someone especially during these times? “I’m so sorry…” Apologizing is not something that helps the other party, but rather, helps you. But I didn’t know what else to say.

She proceeded by taking out her cellphone and showing me pictures of her husband. She showed me so many pictures there in the waiting room. She even showed me a picture of him in his casket. Again, I had no idea how to react and she was showing me incredibly intimate photos.

During the preliminary testing, she moved slowly, sadly, and heavily; her miserable heart was on her sleeve.

The point of me sharing this story is to remind everyone that we don’t know everyone’s story. We don’t know what happened to them five minutes, five days, or five years prior to you meeting or encountering them.

This woman just needed someone—anyone to listen to her and care.

This week, I challenge you to silence your own worries and listen to someone who may need you. I challenge you to reach out to someone that is staying silent and you don’t know why; they may be screaming internally.

Thanks for reading, xo.

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