A few weeks ago, I came across a TED talk on Palliative Care given in 2013 by Timothy Ihrig in Des Moines, Iowa. Palliative care helps people at the most vulnerable times of their lives, times when they are living with complex, serious health issues, or confronting the end of their lives. As I was listening to this moving presentation, I started thinking about mediation, its similarities with palliative care, and how as a mediator, I may also be a palliative care provider of sorts.
I work with couples experiencing huge emotional distress as they face the end of their marriages. My hope is to help them reach the best possible outcomes: no aggressive measures, no attacks, rather a more positive and calming alternative,a reopening of communication, more dignity and respect for the other and for themselves as the doors to their lives together slowly close behind them.
Life Transforming Situations
Both situations are fraught with fear, but people can often have their say when confronted with the finality of their circumstances.
In the case of a mediated divorce, parties will decide together about parenting, dividing their assets, and/or selling a home, and other issues, all leading to the finalization of the marriage. Each party becomes a survivor to the divorce and with time, they will find light at the end of the tunnel. (I invite you to read my blog “when one door closes…”)
In the case of a life threatening illness, patients and their families must make difficult end of life decisions. Sadly, the survivors will have to adjust to a life without their loved ones.
In both cases, these are life transforming experiences for all those involved. Whether a mediator or a medical team, the care providers need to show empathy, lend an attentive ear to all parties, and accompany everyone throughout these tough journeys. Hopefully with palliative care, some of the pain and suffering can be alleviated, and a peaceful ending achieved.
If someone you know is going through a traumatic break-up, do encourage them to chose palliative care and come to mediation. They will receive the best care they can get.
Feel free to have them call me for a free consultation at (212) 472-8262.
jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator divorce and family mediation upper east side of manhattan (nyc) new york, ny (212) 472-8626 firstname.lastname@example.org connect on