Reflection on Caregiving
In Hope for Caregivers' Devotional . Author Henri Nouwen writes about the hope of caregiving. "Offering care easily becomes reduced to tasks. This is a detached mindset. Caregiving as a calling or privilege is not rooted in tasks but in the connection between human beings. The author of 1 John in the bible tells us that this connection is through love, first from God and then through us as we see each other as beloved by God. Through LOVE, living and caring are one." (2017).
There are many benefits associated with writing your life story and your legacy with Guided Autobiography. For caregivers, these benefits are magnified. Creating a powerful legacy in your life is a gift to family and friends. It can provide insight for increased self-understanding (Campbell and Svensson, 2015). These insights can be powerful as you provide day-to-day, hour-by-hour care for your loved one. You may also discover reconciliation for past resentments and hurts. Caregiving has thrust you into a life transition, a fork in your road that you may not have anticipated. Lifestory writing allows us to rethink this process and discover peace and joy in this special calling.
My caregiving journey includes caring for patients over my 40-year nursing career. I also cared for my father, who was on hospice for terminal lung cancer. Most recently, my husband and I provided 24/7 caregiving for his mom (Kate), an independent, feisty red-headed Irish woman who lost her battle with dementia. I faced compassion fatigue and searched for tools to help renew my soul, gratitude, and joy. I explored making beaded bracelets and spent hours at my computer researching my genealogy to uncover stories of my ancestors. Guided autobiography writing would have been a great tool to increase my resilience and fill my empty 'tank' with hope. I invite you to join me in discovering your life's legacy stories, two pages at a time. Email me if you are interested in joining a group: email@example.com.
Reflect and journal on the following questions by Henri Nouwen:
1. How do you respond to the idea of caregiving as a privilege at the heart of being human?
What has been your most privileged moment in your caregiving story?