I watched the television doctors speak to the lonely family member sitting by themselves in the waiting room. I saw them be the one their patient turned to when they were scared and emotionally vulnerable. I even watched while these actors sit in the room with a patient because they had no one else. And that’s when it hit me. That was what seemed so unreal to me. I did not relate to the loneliness or the pain of having no one with you in a time of crisis.
My experience has always been one of waiting rooms full of family and friends; of visitor sign-in sheets full of names, and lots of support. I see many people asking what they can do, babysitting children, bringing food when people are released, crying together, holding hands, praying together. But I know there are people who are alone in those times. They do not have the support groups I am used to seeing. So I began to wonder why.
It is not that I or my friends are nicer or more popular than other people. It is that I am part of a community of faith that believes we are family. So we show up for each other. We help each other. We care for each other. I am there for them. And they are there for me.
So it leads to the question: who will be at the hospital with you?
(Expressed written consent must be obtained prior to republishing, retransmitting or otherwise reusing the content of this article. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org)