When Eyes Speak

Janna Kontzby Janna Kontz, MDiv

Have you seen many smiles lately? Think about that. In the age of the mask, have you seen many smiles?

At first glance—and first thought—you might say, “Well, no, I can’t see people’s smiles because they are covered with a mask.” Yes … well, but if you think about it, you can still see a person’s smile. A real smile is so very evident in a person’s eyes.

Someone once said, “The eyes tell more than words could ever say.”

That is so true! If you look into someone’s eyes, you can see everything from joy and pain to fulfillment and profound emptiness. Having worked in hospice patient care for so long and now with grieving families, I know sometimes the eyes say much more than words. Sometimes a person has no words—whether because of physical limitations or emotional or spiritual pain—and so, we look into their eyes. Behind those eyes is a whole story, a whole life.

So, while this whole mask thing is kind of a nuisance, but an important one, and we would really like to see whole faces again, remember, the eyes have it. We can still look into a person’s eyes and detect a smile, a bit of mischief, anger, angst. We just need to look a little closer or maybe a bit longer. And, while we would like to see more than half a face, remember we can still see a whole story if we just take the time to look.

If you use your own eyes to truly see others’ eyes, it might not only change your perspective, it might just change you.

Here’s to seeing you.

Janna Kontz is a grief specialist with Hospice of the Red River Valley.


About Hospice of the Red River Valley
In 1981, Hospice of the Red River Valley was founded on the belief that everyone deserves access to high-quality end-of-life care. We fulfill our nonprofit mission by providing medical, emotional, personal and spiritual care, as well as grief support to our patients, their families and caregivers during a tender time in life. Our staff helps those we serve experience more meaningful moments through exceptional hospice care, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, wherever a patient calls home. The organization serves more than 40,000 square miles in North Dakota and Minnesota, including in and around Bismarck, Detroit Lakes, Devils Lake, Fargo, Fergus Falls, Grand Forks, Lisbon, Thief River Falls, Valley City and many more communities. Hospice of the Red River Valley offers round-the-clock availability via phone, prompt response times and same-day admissions, including evenings, weekends and holidays. Contact us anytime at 800-237-4629 or hrrv.org.


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