People at the Center -> Person at the Center = Gaps

By August 31, 2014Caregiver, ePatient
A dear friend, Vern Schmaltz, died this week of ALS. He had so looked forward to retirement. His wife, full-time caregiver, faces a considerable gap in her life. “What will I do in the morning?” For the past months they’ve worked together to manage the daily routines of his life and navigate the medical system. She was committed to this more than full-time labor and labor of love.  Now the gap. Winding down, feeling lost, unmoored, exhausted, alone. She knew to take care of herself these past months-but easier said than done. Whatever reserves dried up in the intense last weeks. We spoke for a few minutes about reducing manageable stress – grief is not manageable stress nor is right sizing her home nor rebalancing finances. No stress seems manageable now. All of a sudden the people at the center is the person at the center. Gaps from losing a person at the center fades slowly. Filled in by life. It’s been more than 10 years since my son, Mike died.  Freaks me out that the gaps have faded so much. I treasure those gaps. 

Honor the caregivers, help the helpers

2 Comments

  • KathyPooler says:

    Danny, words are so hard at a sad time like this. Our lives are changed forever when someone we love leaves us. But you have said it well–filling in those gaps that special people like Mike and Vern have left is a painful reality. My heart goes out to you and Ann et al for the gap Mike left and to Joyce for the gap Vern has left. Thank you for your eloquent words.

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