The Gift of Listening

Barbara Vey -- December 23rd, 2008

Yesterday my boys lost their grandfather (their father’s father).  For my youngest (26), it is his first experience with death on such a close personal level (my son’s are 10 years apart).  It was a very emotional day filled with a lot of questions and not too many answers.

I tried to explain what came next, the funeral plans, the timing because of the Christmas holiday.  Death isn’t an easy thing for any of us and it seems to be especially profound around any holiday.  We talked about the happy times and memories he had of his grandpa.

I spoke on the phone with my ex-husband to offer my condolences and even though we haven’t talked in many years, the time seemed to melt away as caught up on old friends and relatives on both sides of the family.  Unfortunately, most of the stories were sad.  Lots of disease, despair and death.  How did all our young carefree friends become victims of Parkinson’s, MS, and cancer?

In the past few months my sister lost her husband to pancreatic cancer, another sister lost her brother in law to cancer and her husband’s uncle also passed away.  We mourned three of my dad’s cousins in a two month period.  I’m saddened reading blogs of other’s coping with the losses of their loved ones and their own battles with disease.

While it should be done all throughout the year, this holiday season is the best time to reach out to those who are in pain and suffering from a multitude of problems.  It doesn’t cost any money to call a friend to just say hi.  To stop by and offer a helping hand.  To smile at a stranger.  To hold a door open for someone struggling with kids and packages.  To say a few kind words without having a reason to.  To just be there for someone to listen.  Listening is very underrated and one of the best gifts you can give to someone. 

Slow down for a few minutes and count your blessing and while you’re at it, add to someone else’s.

Bottom Line:  "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a live around." ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

113 thoughts on “The Gift of Listening

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