We are linked to Inspire Me Monday and Wedded Wednesday.
En brera means no alternative in Hebrew, and to understand what is in your mate's mind, when he or she is fighting for life,
And life, participation in life, is important. Being part of something...the workforce, the community, the circle of friends, and as the circle shrink, the family and the couple...this is what makes us human.
Man was not meant to be alone. Terminal illness can be the ultimate isolator, and caregivers can be unwitting accomplices.
You have to look beyond the toll that participation is going to take on your mate, because stepping back from life takes a larger one, the feeling of being set aside from the rest of humanity.
It's so tempting to urge someone who's in significant discomfort or outright pain to 'be nice to yourself; rest, and don't worry about getting out and about'.
And it's tempting for that individual, for two reasons. One is obvious; no one wants to hurt more, and being let off the hook in an understanding way can seem like a huge relief.
The second is more insidious..."I'm not really needed after all; it doesn't matter if I show up in the world or not".
Once that has taken hold in the soul, it's hard to go back. Once a person feels as if he or she is disposable, certain thought patterns are begun, a combination of fatalism and a negative sort of defiance ("If I'm not needed after all, why tey?) that are very hard to overcome.
Hard to overcome because part of the newly-adopted paradigm is a kind of cynicism, that willlook at every future attempt to convince that one really is important to friends, family, and community...as condescension.
It's like being a newlywed, and being told by your husband that you're a lousy cook. It takes time to learn, but when will you even believe him when he compliments your cooking? It'll take years.
And the terminally ill don't,typically, have years.
So please, encourage as much engagement as your mate wants to pursue...and when necessary, give nudges.
We all need to be part of something...even unto death.