Sunday, April 6, 2008
My friend and fellow caregiver Pat passed away yesterday, after a long battle with cancer.
She was a very strong person and never wanted to accept help from anyone, so the last weeks were especially difficult for her, as she defined herself as the one in her family to whom everyone turned for help.
She was a great example, in the two years I knew her, of making the best of bad situations, finding new solutions, and staying calm in the face of some difficult times.
She expected to outlive her husband, twenty years her senior and diagnosed with Alzheimer's. And while she had seen a lawyer and gotten some of the legal work done before she got really sick, she did not execute all the plans that she had, as she thought she had plenty of time. It has caused, over the last two months while her life was hanging in the balance, a lot of turmoil and angst for her family, rushing to find care for her husband and securing his safety for the time when she would not be there to provide it herself.
So that is part of the legacy that she has left her fellow caregivers. We all think that we have plenty of time, especially those of us who are considerably younger. And some of the planning involves thinking about a time when we won't be here or would ourselves be incapacitated, or our loved ones would be much sicker and in need of more care, and all that is not pleasant to contemplate. It is very easy to keep postponing it.
She has reminded us that we need to have as many of the plans in place as we possibly can, so that those we leave behind have a clear view of our intentions for our loved ones.
Posted by Ginnie