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Monday, October 2, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 370 - Talk To A Caregiver {#write31days}

Do you know a caregiver?

Is there someone in your neighbourhood whom you rarely see...but you know that inside the house a tragedy is unfolding, someone's dying, and a husband or wife is carrying the load?

Here is my commandment...go ye to them, and, hand outstretched, saith, "Hi."

Caregiving is a terribly lonely job at the best of times; you're watching someone you love die by inches. It's always by inches; the quick and neat endings so beloved of Hollywood are pretty rare on the ground here.

Just in that gesture, crossing the street to say hello, you can add sunshine to a person's life like you couldn't imagine.

You can even offer to help out, unloading groceries, or something like that. (Don't be offended if you're not invited into the house; being terminally ill is not necessarily a neat passage, and patient rest-times do trump social intercourse.)

But talk to the caregiver down the road. Please.

Your kind words are more precious than gold.

(OK, I cheated a bit...I wrote this thinking the October 2 word prompt was 'talk'...it's tell. But I think the subject's important, and I'm tired, so it stays.)

The musical accompaniment is from Billy Joel, with Tell Her About It. At lest I got the keyword right with this!

Write 31 Days prompts - 2017

Somehow I ended up doing two #write31days blogs; the other is on Starting The Day With Grace.  I'd be honoured if you'd drop by.

I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.

Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.


And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.

If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.


  1. Such good words here, Andrew. It's so easy to stay wrapped up in our own lives that we don't take the time to look around and see others who may be hurting, or carrying the heavy load of caregiving.

    I'm taking your exhortation to heart, my friend.

    Praying for you and Barb.

    1. jeanne, thanks so much...it is awfully easy to overlook those who need help...or to assume that they are both too busy to want aid, and coping well enough.

      Thank you so much for the prayers!

  2. Does your area have a Hospice service that can provide respite care? I know you stay alone while your wife is working, but she might appreciate some additional free time.

    1. Jan, there is a service, but for a number of reasons - cost among them - it wouldn't be practical.

      I do try to chase her out of the house on weekends, with a promise - which I have learned to keep! - to stay static until she returns. That she can count on my willingness not to push myself, for those hours, does ease her mind.

      Thanks so much for the thought, and for being here.

    2. The hospice service in my area is free. Sorry yours isn't.

  3. I won't "tell". :D
    Another selfless post, Andrew. I am amazed by your commitment to write 31 days on two sites!!!
    Much love to you and Barb!

    1. Tammy, thank you! The two sites thing was really an accident, but that it started, I kinda have to go on. It is fun.

      Love back, from both of us!

  4. One question I have for Barbara, your caregiver, is: Do you feel survivors guilt? I know you have not gone yet, Andrew. But in a sense, Barbara must grapple with the reality that she is almost certain going to out-survive you for many more years and that realization can really be a stab to the heart every time she looks at you. Such a hard place for both of you. Thank you for being so gracious and willing to share your inner world with us!

    1. Beth, that's an excellent question. It's not one I want to ask The B right now; she's in the middle of training a new hire at work and is incredibly over-subscribed...but my guess would be, a qualified yes. This has gone on for a long time, far longer that we (or my doctor) would have imagined, and it's become kind of numbing.

      But that said, when I die, it will be a new world, and B will have to default back to 'normal'...and I think there will be some survivour's guilt there.

      I hope not. I hope she will be able to smile at the memories and walk on into a new life, without the need for a backward glance.

      No need to look back because God saves the good in our lives, and it waits reborn, just on the other side of that bridge we will all cross.

      Thank you so much for being here!

  5. There is so much that I could say on this one, but I don't want to "talk" about it... except to God. And I know He won't "tell" anyone.

    But I will say one thing...

    It's EXTREMELY isolating to be a caregiver, especially when it drags on year after year. Thank you for bringing this to people's attention. I appreciate it.


    1. Diana, thank you for this, for sharing your experience. I truly appreciate it.

      Blessings back!