I caught a bit of Emma's online literature class discussion yesterday. Her teacher, Mr. Cothran, was talking about bearing one another's burdens and how, often, we can bear easily for someone else what we can not bear ourselves. I think it is true.
In a slightly different way, my sister Beverly is doing this. Before her son passed away, she had asked to be transferred to the psychiatric ward at the hospital where she is an LPN. They deal with addictions there as well as other mental illnesses. She thought it would be good experience in helping her deal with Corey's alcoholism. As it turned out, Corey died just before she was to start the new job.
After that, she didn't think that she could do it--work with people who were suffering like Corey did. But she tried it and has stayed. In the first week she was able to cheer and comfort a de-toxing alcoholic executive. Since then she has brought Corey's clothes and given them to a young man who had none. He was actually having to wear paper scrubs. Then she had to see him wearing Corey's clothes, which I can only imagine took her breath away. However, in helping to bear their burdens, she is finding hers more "bearable". Here is what she said in a Jan. 3rd blog post:
I've also been blessed to find myself working on a psychiatric unit, caring for patients who often have no family, no opportunities, no hope. Being immersed in their lives and finding connections between theirs and my own has been, well, painfully liberating? Is that possible? I am finding more and more "constants", truths at work, as I watch over them.