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Tag Archives: grief

Goodbyes, Hello, and Love


The two hardest things to say in life are hello for the first time and goodbye for the last — Moira Rogers I read the above quote this week and thought it a perfectly fitting expression. Several members of our caregiving family are dealing with the saying of goodbye and I know from past experience, this isn’t easy. My heart goes out to each and every one of you.  My only encouragement is to be ... Read More »

Book Review: “Good Morning to You”


I won the book, Good Morning! to You, written by Denise recently in a contest on I more than likely will not do it the justice it deserves but here I go. The book is designed to get you going first thing or whenever you decide to sit down and work on it. I have found that if you decide to take this on it is best to do your contemplating and writing at ... Read More »

Words for Cynthia


Tomorrow evening, I have my first opportunity to speak to a group of cancer patients and caregivers. This is not just my first opportunity to speak to this group; this is the first time in my life. I earnestly pray that I can provide words of support. A good friend, who is also an experienced hospice nurse, advised me to go easy on them. She believes that I have seen too much as a caregiver, ... Read More »

Unexpected Changes


In my last posts I was speaking about how we thought Smokey was getting better, in pain, but getting better. After a routine MRI to check to see how much the area had healed, we get a call the next day to get to the ER Immediately. And so we have been here since Friday. But nothing much has happened that we could not have done at home, except, of course the slew of tests ... Read More »

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream


In the last couple months I have had severe insomnia. I mean, I’ve had it since Marc got sick but there were days when I was able to get at least four to six hours combined of some rest. Wednesday, I had a great night’s sleep. One I didn’t think would ever come. Mainly because I had to stay up over 48 hours before I slept from pure exhaustion. But it happened and I slept. ... Read More »

Must We Suffer?


“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” – Buddhist proverb The New York Times published an opinion piece on Sunday called “The Value of Suffering.” The author, Pico Iyer, takes us through thoughts and beliefs about suffering, closing the piece with this thought: “The only thing worse than assuming you could get the better of suffering, I began to think (though I’m no Buddhist), is imagining you could do nothing in its wake. …You could be ... Read More »

Sisters and Grief

me visiting with my mom--one of the good memories

This has been one of the fastest weeks of my life, because my sister was here from another state visiting us and has gone. It has been so glorious to have her here though. Phone calls just don’t cut it, after a certain length of time. We gotta’ have the real thing. The skin-on-skin hug. The eyeball experience. One thing that has bonded us even closer, if that were possible, was our experience of caring ... Read More »



I haven’t been on this site much lately. Life has become too busy, difficult and overwhelming for me. My son (caree) suffers from a seizure disorder (Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome) that has, so far, been untreatable. Yes, he’s on lots of meds for it but none of them work. This has been on going, for years, 10 years. He’s also a kidney transplant recipient so he can’t take most of the major seizure control drugs (like Dilantin ... Read More »

Dad’s Time Coming to an End…


The hospice nurse told my mom today that my Dad has days, at best a couple of weeks left. He ran a fever of 102 last night (this morning) and they had to call a nurse out at 4 a.m. (Thank goodness my mom has the 24/7 caregiver there.) She was able to get the temperature down, but he was twitching violently (he has Parkinson’s-like twitching all the time, but this was much worse and ... Read More »

If There’s So Many of You, Why Is Caregiving Still So Lonely?


Pew Research Center released a study last month that says about 39% of U. S. adults–up from 30% in 2010–care for an adult or child with significant health issues. In other words, two in every five individuals are family caregivers. I’ve been thinking about this number because I can’t quite get it to add up. Here’s why. If 39% of U.S. adults are family caregivers, why is caregiving still such a lonely and isolating experience? ... Read More »

Tell Us: What Do You Think about Tweeting a Caree’s Death?


Over the weekend, Scott Simon, host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday,” shared tweets about his mom’s hospitalization which became updates about his mom’s last days. He posted tweets like this one: “Her passing might come any moment, or in an hour, or not for a day. Nurses saying hearing is last sense to go so I sing & joke.” When his mom died Monday night, he tweeted: “The heavens over Chicago have opened and Patricia ... Read More »



I’m curious how many of us are in denial. That we are all going through a process called grief. That this grief is ours and that of the people we care for. That the people we care for care for us.  That we are carees as well. That those phases of grief are unbelievably real. I wonder how many of us feel gagged. Like we aren’t able to express our true selves. That it is ... Read More »

Video Chat Today: Caring for Children


Our weekly video chat takes place at 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT, Noon PT). Today, we’re talking with four parents who care for children. We’ll discuss their worries, their adjustments to a chronic illness and their coping strategies. Joining me today are: –Jane Northrop, who cares for her daughter, Nicole, who was diagnosed in 2010 at 15 with a rare, chronic, life-threatening, incurable, progressive lung disease called pulmonary hypertension. She was also diagnosed with ... Read More »



Inspired by @ejourneys, as so many others have been in her latest post, I was thinking about the need to cry out in grief this morning. For some reason, I don’t feel allowed to have emotions, let alone cry them out once in a while. When I do want to cry, I don’t seem to be able to release those tears. I wake up pretty much every day grieving about something, whether it be financial ... Read More »

The Grunch (a.k.a. I Miss . . . )

I was at the farmer’s market today, missing my mom and the way she used to be, and suddenly thought about How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Hence, “The Grunch” made me laugh! She caught her finger in a door and does not know how she did it, so I miss her taking care of me. Any ideas about how to care for injuries with a reluctant caree?  (She won’t go to the doc and I’m ... Read More »

“We Never Thought It Was the End”


I just watched a TEDMED video of Amanda Bennett, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of The Cost of Hope, talk about her husband’s cancer and their fight to cure him. She speaks about denial and hope and how they redefined hope with every change in his condition. “I believed I could keep him from dying,” she says. She and her husband didn’t say good-bye because she never believed he was dying, even as he was. ... Read More »

How Do You Bear the Pain and Suffering?


Yesterday, @carlaschuchman posed this question: How do you continue to watch the one you love so very much struggle so? How does one person deal with the pain? The declines and losses during caregiving can seem relentless. You adjust to one and then another arrives. You witness your caree suffer, which means you suffer, too. In caregiving, you feel for two. And, it’s a feeling that seems to cut you in two. How do you ... Read More »

Recharging the Batteries, Bit by Bit


Since my Dad’s death I’ve taken a deliberately lower profile across all social and electronic media. A combination of grief, depression and simple emotional exhaustion made it prudent to do so. I’ve pulled up and scanned from time to time, been deeply touched by so many of your posts, but simply didn’t have the emotional reserves to provide a cogent answer. Most I could do was quietly pray for you. Life has remained busy ... Read More »

Grief Wrapped in Five Pounds of Adorable Fluff


I debated about posting this here but then realized, we all deal with grief eventually (sometimes unexpectedly) and thought it might be helpful. Even though I’m not a member of AfterGiving, it may even be an appropriate post for that section.  I’ll let Denise be the judge of that. This past week was rough. When we returned from vacation, Other Brother returned our Toy Pomeranian, Sassy, to our care.  For 13 years, we have shared custody ... Read More »



At the end of your caregiving experience, you’ll find yourself wishing for a rally, hoping your caree can turn another corner, regain that lost strength, recover to where she was. You’ve had so many rallies in the past, it can be hard to believe one more rally just won’t come. And, when that rally doesn’t come, you may look to the sky and scream, “Didn’t you hear my cries for another rally?” The last rally ... Read More »



This Sunday would be my wife’s birthday if she were still alive. This has been a difficult year for my kids. Crying, grave site visits, depression. It hasn’t been this bad since the year she died. Decided this would be a great weekend to see my Mother-in-law. She had a heart attack last month and although she is recovering nicely post surgery, I haven’t seen her yet. Not planning on staying long, just part of ... Read More »

Another Week And Wait


Finally, the new week is here. I am feeling worried, stressed, and most of the weekend I have spent doing…nothing. Unless I was helping Smokey. My work has slowed down and that stresses me because when it does, I fall behind on bills. Here it is the first of the month and I can’t pay much. Mema is off on her time away with my friends and that’s good. She was divorced five years ago ... Read More »