Choosing Your Own Path

The Starting Line

The other day I was listening to a friend talk about her aging parents.  While neither parent is ill, they are in their 80’s.  And because neither is ill, there is no pressing need to doanything.  Except notdoing anything feels like being poised on the starting line waiting for the starter’s pistol to sound.  Then,…

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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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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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