As a younger man confronting another experience as a caregiver, I coped by “stuffing my feelings” and “numbing out” with alcohol. “Now I was facing Carol’s traumatic disease, I knew I had to be different.” Friends reminded me, “This is a marathon, not a sprint.” I was committed to being “consciously present” with Carol throughout her illness and to do that I had to take care of myself. This analogy recently came to me: if she were a craftsman, I would be the most important tool in her tool box. You are the most important element in helping your loved one recover and survive. Treat yourself as such!
Acceptance is an awesome force. Accepting reality is the first step. You also can learn to cope in delving into the mind, life and acceptance of life and death that is the heart of Coy Cross’s experience related for all to learn from in “The Dhance” (Available from KohoPono Press, ISBN 978-0-9845424-2-0, visit kohopono.com or call 503-723-7392).