Everyone one of us has to know that we will all have challenges to face and amongst those is the death of a loved one. A sad situation for all but more so for those who sit by and know they are helpless to do anything to save the one they love. Almost everyone would gladly give anything they could to prevent their loved one from passing including wives, husbands or children.
We all know the pain caused by not being able to prevent the injury to their child, or to prevent a terrible disease from ravaging the body and soul of a loved spouse. Some pass quickly as if to prevent their loved one from bearing the helpless guilt that so many feel. But, what about the caregiver who must endure seeing their loved one starting to fade before their eyes knowing that there isn’t a thing they can do, say or offer that will turn back the clock.
Caregivers are special people who are able to handle the stress associated with caring for a loved one beyond all expectations. Caregivers, though, also have needs that are no longer met by their loved one especially when it is a spouse. These individuals need to have a respite from care; they need to have other people give them a break from a routine that almost always sees them confined to one place for very long periods of time.
If you want to step into their shoes just for a day, I think you’ll see how draining this routine can be. They are always on duty; they are always there when needed, and they have to have a solid personality that shines beyond what is required in normal life. There is no normal life for them except the constant psychological demands that haunt them hour upon hour.
Call these caregivers on a frequent basis; offer to lend any assistance you can. This assistance may even be as little as providing a meal, cooking for them, cleaning for them, doing grocery shopping for them. Any assistance will be welcome as they trudge through the vast array of emotions. Lend an ear; let them talk about whatever they want. You don’t want to catch yourself saying things like, “It will be okay”, or “I know how you feel”. You won’t know how they feel unless you’ve personally been in a situation exactly as they must handle each and every day.
And, to make it even more difficult for them is the announcement from the nurse or doctor that their loved is rapidly fading. Sometimes, this call can be a false alarm; some I know have had three or more false alarms where they’ve called the rest of the family together only to find that their loved one isn’t about to pass at this time. Can you imagine the emotional drain?
Give what you can to these caring people. They are a jewel among us and need there own care given to them by those who also care for them.