In his experience, Marc was confronted with an existential dimension to caregiving: “Caring for someone is also suffering; it is suffering through love.”
I find that when we are suffering, we are looking for lifelines, and this is a warning. It is testing the strength of our faith. I am answering you differently now from what I would have answered you two years ago when my aunt died. I was with her for 6 months while she was in palliative care. And I cried. I burst into tears like an old lady. I cried, it’s terrible. I went to see a chaplain, and his words made me feel good. He is God’s representative with a big G, large, because for me it is very large and it gives meaning to what you are doing. And this is also a lifelong journey. Over the years, I will continue trying to get closer to God with a big G. This is it for me. I am convinced that for some people, it is essential to speak to God through their journey. Because caring for someone is also suffering. It is suffering through love. Being a parent is also having moments when you suffer a lot. Being a caregiver is also being confronted to this spiritual dimension. And one thing that I would add concerning the opportunity that I have to be a caregiver, it is the chance that I have to have met this friend. I made that choice. I imagine that for many people they do not choose to become caregiver. As for me, I am lucky that I have done it by choice, and I am very happy with the input of this person in my life. And I want to highlight this input because someone who needs help and who helps himself has gone more than half way for the caregiver. It is a lot of inspiration, great relief at the same time when someone helps himself. It prevents you from spending a lot of energy trying to convince him to let you help. I find this important.
More from: Marc
- Travelling, holidays and respite – MarcMarc and the friend he cares for love to travel. Travelling helps them get through more difficult moments.
- Navigating the system – MarcIt can be “hit or miss”; sometimes Marc knocks on the right door, and other times the wrong door.
- Resources – MarcYou don’t always know where to ask for help. It would be easier if there were one single place to turn for good information, says Marc.
- Effects of care recipients’ behaviour – MarcMarc is very touched and inspired by the friend for whom he is caring.
- Trying to find the right balance – MarcMarc gives a lot of time to care for his friend, but also needs time for himself. He has learned to reconnect with himself during his free moments.
- Caring for yourself – MarcIn his experience, Marc was confronted with an existential dimension to caregiving: “Caring for someone is also suffering; it is suffering through love.”
- Financial impact – MarcMarc makes little money as a caregiver, but he is not worried. This is a choice he has made.
- Impact on health – MarcMarc lived through two periods of depression, but feels that now he has found a better equilibrium.
- The future and caregiving – MarcMarc doesn’t know what the future will bring but believes "where there is a will, there is a way."
- Providing support – MarcMarc’s friend is only able to speak with his eyes. Marc describes how this made his hospital stay more complicated.