Caregivers & Loss
Being a clinician in critical care can lead to enormous stress. While we are disconnected
from the patients by a professional distance, the impact of their deterioration and loss
can hurt us. This is certainly more so if they were frequent flyers to your hospital, or if you
happen to have bonded the family.
“Surviving their Death” is a reality check on loss, told by a woman who was
husband’s sole caregiver as he passed away from terminal cancer.
She later became a respiratory therapist, a certified trauma professional,
and the author of this website.
Link to the complete book:
“People who care intensely for another through a terminal illness rarely notice how
much they themselves are eroding, both physically and mentally. Inside the hospitals
and clinics, we find them sleepwalking and dazed; terrified to leave the bedside for
even a moment should something change in their absence. After it is over, feelings
of failure slither into their already shattered soul. For the caregiver, death of a loved
one does not only bring hurt; but crushing amounts of paralyzing and undeserved guilt.
Every past action and decision suddenly scrutinized, as we begin punishing ourselves
for remaining alive and being unable to save our loved one. For all who have experienced
death, refilling your own cup begins with the knowledge that YOU are running on empty.
For this to take place, you must admit that are both human and damaged.
“Surviving Their Death” is dedicated to any caregivers connected to a patient by blood,
water, love, or scrubs; who themselves are lost when the purpose of their heart has been
removed to the next life.”