If you are a caregiver to a family member or friend who has a terminal illness, many times you just do the best you can, but you feel that maybe you just aren’t cut out for the job. You are not alone. I went through the same thing. You might have fears of your loved one dying while you are there with him/her. Sometimes we just need someone to talk to that has already been through it, to help us cope.
I took care of my mom when she was terminally ill. Even though I knew the inevitable would happen I didn’t want to see it happen. My mom had been there for me my whole life. I didn’t want to see her die! If you are a caregiver going through what I went through, you might feel the same way. Although when the time comes you muster up the courage to be there when your loved one needs you the most.
Sometimes we have to do everything for our loved one. The jobs that we have to do are not always pleasant. It’s not pleasant for the patient either. Being a caregiver means you have to watch your facial expressions when you are doing a task that is unpleasant. I’m sure my mom didn’t want to be on the receiving end-that she had to have me bathe her, and take care of her personal needs
One of my fears was that my mom would know how distasteful I thought the odor from her rotting feet was. Every day I had to clean and take care of her feet that were rotting away with gangrene. It is vitally important to remember our loved ones we care for have the same thoughts, fears, and spiritual needs just like we do. It is very hard for them to give up control of their lives-to be cared for, to be bathed, and toileted. The only thing they have left at this point is their dignity; we need to help them hang onto it.
Our family members that are sick with Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other debilitating diseases might want to spend their last days at home around the people they love. When it is possible to do this, it can be very comforting for the patient, and memorable for the caregiver. When my mom passed she went in my arms. As long as I have mind to remember, I will never forget that earlier that morning she looked up into my eyes and mouthed the words “I love you”. Those were her last words. My daughter and I took turns sitting at her bedside. Even though her passing was sad for us, I feel that my being there holding her was a comfort to her.
When you are taking care of someone you love, you need to not neglect yourself. To be there for the ones you love, you need to be there for yourself also. If you need someone to talk to about your grief, do it. I grieved my mother’s passing long before she died. You might want to find a good support group. There are people just like you, that live day in and day out with the same concerns, and with your same feelings. There are many support groups that are specifically programmed to help you deal with the issues you are facing. You can find a support group specific to your needs by using the Google directory.