Saturday, March 26, 2011

A caregiver's grief

Riza is 33. Her husband Tod has early-onset Parkinson’s disease. She told me, “I am grieving the loss of our dreams.”  Their dreams of having children, of watching Tod's career expand, of continuing activities  they previously enjoyed—like hiking and camping.  Riza is feeling caregivers’ grief:  the relentless on-going process brought about, not by a loved one’s death, but by the changed aspects of life.

Caregivers’ grief seldom comes in a neat, orderly package: you might feel tearful and hopeful at the very same time.  Your emotions can take as many twists and turns as your loved one’s illness. Sometimes you'd  like to run away from it all.

Riza's Prayer: O Lord, as I travel this journey
I did not choose, 
Strengthen me to cope with the messiness.
The turmoil.
And most of all,
Comfort me and my loved one.
Help us to bear our tears.