Updated: Dec 11, 2018
If there is one thing I know for sure, it’s OK to cry. Especially when you are challenged with providing care and support to an aging or sick loved one. This must be one of the most heart wrenching and painful experiences that people go through. No, I am not one of you…YET, but I do my best to learn from you, to support you and please know, you inspire me every day!
I was watching the CBC documentary “The Caregivers Club” on Sunday evening. You might catch it here: http://www.cbc.ca/cbcdocspov/m/episodes/the-caregivers-club). It spotlighted 3 different families struggling with supporting a loved one diagnosed with Dementia. It was a VERY real and raw look at just how heart wrenching this journey is. YES, I cried a few times through the program as I witnessed their tears, pain, fear and sadness (I admit, I cry easily 😊).
One thing I know from working with so many families is that this is a very emotional journey and one where you must let your guard down and just let the emotion wash over you when you need to. “Feel the feels’ as they say. Allow yourself to feel sad, to feel angry, to feel afraid or lonely…just don’t stay there. Allow the tears to wash away those overwhelming feelings for a few moments…then regroup and move forward with clarity and conviction. View crying as a release and as a sign of strength; of knowing yourself as someone who acknowledges and accepts their feelings and emotions. You ARE strong and it is that strength that will allow you not only to survive as a family caregiver, but to thrive. You see, everyone will need a caregiver or BE a caregiver at some point in their life.
I speak to many of you and I can see that you are the action takers and the leaders of your families. Sometimes in our conversations, just by opening up with a trusted professional who is a good listener (!!), your guard comes down, even for a minute… and you allow yourself to cry. I welcome and encourage this. You have to do this. It is NOT a sign of weakness. The opposite in my opinion, it is a sign of strength!
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Tears to you,