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Beautifully said, Ms. Leipzig.

My experience with death, dying and illness has shown me that, as the author so eloquently states, it is presence that matters– Not only to those who are ill or dying, but to those who are suffering beside them. Having been ill for many years myself, and faced my own nearness to death a number of times, I can also attest to this from the other side. No words have been so valuable as the presence of those who have simply offered to be with me. When we can sit with the pain of others, we acknowledge them on a soul-level, and affirm the hope that is in humanity.

At a time when my life hung in the balance, my mother was deeply comforted and filled with hope by the contact and presence of another woman with whom she did not share a language. No verbal communication was possible, but it was also not necessary.