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Welcome to this online journal for caregivers to the dying or bereaved—important and challenging work, for sure! My goal is to support you by providing inspirational thoughts, pertinent resources, and suggestions for self-care. With appreciation for all you do!

- Rebecca Hauder

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Acknowledge the Sacred

March 14, 2017

       "As you engage in the simple acts of care, you may begin to witness signs that the Divine is in your midst.” ~Rev. James E. Miller

With a degree of trepidation, I headed out of the hospice office parking lot to visit Joe. His edgy and prickly demeanor on my two previous visits made me cautious with my words. I tried to be attentive and respectful, but truth be told, I stayed as short a time as possible—just long enough to accomplish my nursing tasks—before making an exit.

Future visits to Joe fortunately softened my attitude, particularly as I saw glimpses of the fearful vulnerable person beneath the prickly facade. I considered how tough it would it be to have a life full of plans and expectations suddenly go awry because of an out-of-the-blue stage-four cancer diagnosis; then three months later to be receiving care from a complete stranger! Putting myself in his shoes helped me empathize and listen more intently to the feelings behind his words. He, in turn, became more open about his fear of losing control. A sacred space seemed to envelop both of us in those honest and profound exchanges.

Henri Nouwen, in The Spirituality of Caregiving, writes: “Caregiving carries within it an opportunity for inner healing, liberation, and transformation for the one being cared for and for the one who cares.” Can you identify a time when you experienced a transformative and sacred moment as you’ve provided care to another?

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