It is good to visit people who are sick, dying, shut in, handicapped, or lonely. But it is also important not to feel guilty when our visits have to be short or can only happen occasionally. Often we are so apologetic about our limitations that our apologies prevent us from really being with the other when we are there. A short time fully present to a sick person is much better than a long time with many explanations of why we are too busy to come more often.
If we are able to be fully present to our friends when we are with them, our absence too will bear many fruits. Our friends will say: “He visited me” or “She visited me,” and discover in our absence the lasting grace of our presence.