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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 382 - Caregiver, Don't Try Too Hard {#write31days}

You want to do it right.

After all, it's your husband or wife who's dying, and you want to do it better than right.

You want it to be perfect.

You want all of his or her needs to be anticipated and met with no compromise. You want their bad moments to be gentled, and the good ones to be celebrated...together.

You want never to run out of patience, or energy or smiles.

But you do, and when you do...your caregiver fail is actually worse than it would have been if you'd just been yourself.

It's worse, because you're adding in a kind of self-contempt, and it shows.

The caregiver's first job, like that of the doctor, is 'do no harm'. You can't offer a cure, you can't really offer a palliative; your job is to offer focused moral support.

And a self-evaluation of your performance isn't a part of that equation.

So please, don't try so hard. Just be there, because that is really what the patient needs. Even if the patient's quarrelsome and cranky and demanding, those are all a mask for loneliness and fear. Your dying spouse needs one thing,and that urgently.

Your presence.

And if anyone remembers the 70s (or wants to remember them), here's Terry Jacks with Seasons In The Sun.

My #write31days posts so far are:

October 2 - Talk To A Caregiver
October 3 -  Create A Caregiver Haven

Write 31 Days prompts - 2017

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. Replies
    1. It is indeed, Tara, and your being here today is a gift to me!

  2. Amen, Andrew. Though in a different light, your "don't try too hard" resonates with mine in some ways. We can't be perfect that's for sure.

    1. Meg, you're so right, and the harder we try for perfection the further we get from that Vulcan approbation, 'adequate'.

      Thanks so much for being here today.

  3. I've never mentioned online before that I had been a caregiver to a dying family member. I would have appreciated this post a lot back then.

  4. Oh dude! You're song choice? That was morbid when I was a kid in the 70's.

    always love hugs and prayers

    1. Christy, I thought is just seemed appropriate! I do like his voice.

      Hugs and prayers really appreciated. Today was rough.

    2. You're right. He does have a very smooth, soothing voice.