Among some of the most haunting stories in the Gospels is Jesus’ cry to his sleeping friends, knowing he is about to be arrested, tortured and executed: ‘Could you not watch with me one hour!’
I am thinking of those who are dying and how few people know how to respond. Some talk in very loud voices as though the dying person is deaf. Some talk entirely about themselves, or make mundane remarks. All that is needed is that we should be totally present to that person, perhaps holding their hand, silently keeping watch, and responding if the dying person chooses to talk. Those who practise meditation will know best how to sit silently for an hour, holding that person closely in love.