by Jan McDaniel
In writing about caregiving and the family, professionals and patients involved, Arthur Kleinman captures the "very core of what human experience is about and what caregiving should be about."
"... each of us at some point must learn how to endure: the act of going on and giving what we have. And we need, on occasion, to step outside ourselves and look in as if an observer on our endeavors and our relationships—personal and professional—to acknowledge the strength, compassion, courage, and humanity with which we ourselves endure or help to make bearable the hard journeys of others. These are the qualities that make acceptance and striving, if not noble, then certainly deeply human—worthy of respect of ourselves and those whose journeys we share. (Kleinman. “How We Endure." The Lancet. Volume 383, No. 9912, p119–120. 11 January 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.)"
When I read his words, I thought of the people I know who lost loved ones to suicide, and while their lives were changed beyond measure, still managed to help others endure similar tragedies. Many had spent countless hours trying to care for loved ones suffering from mental or other disorders and/or addictions before their losses. Some had no warning or were caught with small children still at home who needed their care.
We have so much in common with those who are suffering, no matter how or why. And we can endure. No one needs to grieve alone.
Way for Hope
Losing someone you love is difficult, but it can mean a lot to hear from others traveling similar paths.
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Links of Value:
Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Word of God
"My Story" Big Daddy Weave
"Hope in Front of Me"
The Joy FM
Traumatic loss or preexisting conditions can worsen mental health. Use this info graphic to find help.
"Take Charge of Your Mental Health" - a free download from www.nami.org: