Welcome to Caregiver Friday!
Why does it take catastrophe to get our attention? We live in a crazy world and for some reason we believe everything should be smooth sailing. We live with a false sense of security that can be breached at any moment, as you know so well. The day your loved one was diagnosed with an illness the shattering began.
Taking on the role of caregiver/wellness partner is far greater than simply helping the person get through the day. It reaches far past giving medication or transporting the patient to medical appointments. It surpasses what many believe to be the status quo of compassion and understanding. When you put all these together you get the qualities of guardianship, compassion, and love, all the things that make caregivers/wellness partners Angels-in-Training.
These actions are amazing when the person you’re caring for is a friend or family member. When it’s someone you know there is a bit of expectation involved in the process. What about if you didn’t know the person you were caring for, would it make a difference.
There have been studies that look at what happens to patients when they don’t know they are being prayed for by people they don’t know; isn’t that caregiving? There are times when anonymous donations are made to individuals, families, even foundations to help those who need care, isn’t that caregiving? Then there are the types of caregiving that put you in the trenches when tragedy strikes, testing your willingness to go beyond the call of duty.
This morning on NPR there was a human interest story on the survivors in Haiti. The story was about a man whose family had survived the earthquake without death or major injury. He feels blessed that his family was unharmed and they were all together. Realizing that’s not the case for everyone he headed to a local make-shift hospital to sit with patients who didn’t have family members beside them. I was moved by this angel-in-training’s ability to take such compassionate action in this great time of turmoil. His ability to understand the importance of having someone who would support you through the darkest hours is the light that shines through.
You are an angel-in-training and I hope you can hold that sacred space for yourself as you support and nurture your loved one. It’s important to remember that you don’t need a pair of wings to walk this earth as an angel.