Posts by Candice Smith

The Fear of Being Wrong


The fear of being wrong, or not doing something right, can be debilitating.  Especially when the decision impacts life and death. In my opinion, this explains why so many people desire to be told what to do.  It also leads me to understand why people are afraid of the loss of their loved one. This…

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Share More, Share Deeper


In my previous blog, I ended with the suggestion that through transparency you and your loved ones will be empowered to share more and to share deeply. By this I mean that when you realize the value of making something common knowledge or putting it “out there” a deeper level of understanding and a greater…

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Woman Reflecting

Overwhelm, lack of control, and an unfamiliarity with the subject matter and “language” of end-of-life care breeds insecurity and mistrust. How can I possibly do what’s right when I don’t have a clue what’s happening? How do I know that’s the best advice when I’m being talked to in Latin or medical-ese? How do I…

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The Care Team


In her book Eldercare 101, my friend Mary Jo Saavedra encourages families to create an “Aging Life Care Team”.  This team consists of an assortment of individuals with the skills often called on when caring for a senior.  Not surprising, they are the same qualities that are useful when supporting a dying loved one. The…

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Does It Have a Happy Ending?

Illuminated Book

People mean well, they really do.  Even thoughtless people and those who can’t relate to your situation.  I’ve only recognized this in hindsight. For me, there were too many times when it was difficult to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe I was wrapped up in my own misery. Or maybe they needed…

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Others Are Going Through This with You


So far most of what I’ve written to you about has been focused on the emotional and psychological responses that you may encounter as a family caregiver.  Those visceral, internal struggles to be that “ideal” caregiver or at least respond better to the situation. This focus is important because I found that I was giving…

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Remain True to Yourself


For a time, a long time, during my Dad’s illness I felt this immense pressure to be his savior. Perhaps I couldn’t save his life, but I could protect him from the “horrible” realities of the end-of-life journey.  It became my duty if not my responsibility, so I felt, to unburden him from any task…

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Fight or Flight

Birds Flying

“Dad had just shared with us his diagnosis. I clearly remember looking around the kitchen table where we were assembled.  At Mom, my brother, his wife and then my own. If my face was a reflection of theirs, then we all were in shock and disbelief, no more so than Dad.  This wasn’t happening. That…

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You Can’t Control What is Happening


Until I was faced with the news that my father was dying, I’d not given much thought to the process or how, as a caregiver, I could support him. Naively I assumed that since death was as much a part of the human experience as birth, there would be as many resources and tools to…

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If You Care, You Are a Caregiver

Heart-shaped Hands

It wasn’t until I was on the phone with my Dad’s chosen hospice provider that I realized that I was a “caregiver”.  Fifteen months after diagnosis and it never occurred to me that this was my role. Only when I described myself as “his daughter calling to provide background to inform their first visit” did…

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