Friends, other family members and people I do not know personally have to take care of others who are ill and or dying. What losses are connected with these scenarios? What strengths come from being supportive of others? What gifts can be found in the process; if you choose to look for them?
Losses and caring for someone else is a topic many do not realize is important until it is “YOU” doing the care taking or “YOU” who is being cared for. Consider for a moment losses such as; freedom, ability, privacy, opinion, free will, being heard, mobility, choice, control, joy, happiness as you knew it, finances, health and more.
Now, which person does each loss scenario refer to; is it the care taker or the person being cared for or is it both? Hmmm, this is food for thought. The likelihood of this being “YOU” in one way or another is quite strong given the age demographics of the baby boomers and the sandwich generations.
When contemplating the strengths that come from being supportive of others what do you think of; perhaps, a strong moral character, a respect for family or friends, a duty to take care, an obligation honoured or love? For some it may be none of the above.
Take a moment and ponder the possible gifts received when caring or being cared for. There could be an opportunity for more intimate conversations on life’s relevant issues pertinent to the situation. The sharing of stories, dreams, fears, trust and wishes along with the changing aspects of hope builds a priceless relationship that would not happen any other way.
I know caring and being cared for are not all roses and fairy tale endings, but stop for a moment and see the bigger picture, the possible gift!
This article also appeared in the local newspaper.