Wisdom for the Caregiver (from Barb Pekich)
- Friends brought dinners every day for two months. This was coordinated by the parish administrator and my best friend. Two women did my grocery shopping for almost six months. Several others ran errands on Saturday for me. Another woman was at my house after school twice a week from January through June so I could continue to work full time.
- My best friend was here nearly every evening for several months until I could face being alone. She had confidence that the time would come when I wouldn’t need someone every night and we’d both know it. She was right. I think I am healthier today because of all the hours she was here grieving with me.
- Men in my church “adopted” each of my children and periodically called one and invited them to participate in some activity, spend a weekend, and so on. This has been very significant for all of them.
- Remember that it helps to talk and talk and talk about what happened. Let the grieving person talk and you, the caregiver, ask the questions.
- Urge honesty and openness. (Dealing with the facts of suicide openly eliminates speculation and whispered conversations behind your back
Caregiving Suggestions (from Bill and Elsie Lamb)
- Our church family and friends brought food, smiles, and listening ears. They listened patiently as I poured out my feelings.
- Some people still remember the date, January 15 and on that day they phone us or write a note. Often, I still find a red rose placed on my son’s grave.
- Research the availability of support groups such as Compassionate Friends and Survivors of Suicide. Then encourage the grieving person(s) to participate in a support group by providing him or her with information and a phone number.
- Write notes and letters. They continue to bring comfort, strength, love and energy as the grieving persons read and reread them. Elsie (the mother) shared the following thoughts from conversations and sympathy notes that especially helped her.
* “I hug you to my heart.”
* “On Sunday mornings we greet each other with, ‘the Peace of Christ be with
you.’ Last Sunday that prayer and promise took on new meaning as we
thought of you and your pain. That prayer will continue to be our prayer
for you in the days ahead.’
*Sometimes it is not possible to express feelings. This is one of those
*May you see Larry surrounded by God’s love, content and happy at last!”
*May God hold you in his hand and carry you forward until some
understanding of all this comes and healing begins. It will come and it will
begin for you and all of your many friends, but for now it is so muddled.
We love you dearly.
- “For additional caregiving advice, refer to the following categories on this website: “Death” and “Caregiving Basics.”The above advice is from The Compassionate Congregation, pages 98-104.