Caregiving can be an isolating experience. On any given day—or in the span of just a few hours—you may feel drained, emotional, lonely. You might feel misunderstood—or sometimes, you might even feel forgotten.
But there’s beauty in turning to others’ writings in times of hardship. Through the power of their mere words, we find the assurance that we’re not alone in what we’re experiencing. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, ‘What? You too? I thought I was the only one.’ And instantly they stand together in an immense solitude.” And I believe that very same feeling is what it’s like to find a comrade through written words.
Our hope, caregivers, is that you’ll find comradeship and comfort in these 5 quotes about the caregiving experience:
Sometimes asking a question is the most healing thing we can do for another. We don’t have to have all of the answers, but showing others that we’re there and we want to be there is a deeply meaningful gesture. Just be there; and to show that you’re truly there, ask the questions that matter. If you have the time, read through more of Fred Rogers’ quotes; there are some true gems to be found within his words.
To be a caregiver is to be mourning what is to come, while being happy that you’re not there yet. It is to rejoice with progress, yet be sad with circumstance. It is to be so happy that your heart is overflowing, yet easily broken-hearted because you’re carrying so much love. To be a caregiver is to be happy and sad at the same time.
Likewise, caregiving is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved. It’s easy to look at the obstacles of a day and see nothing but problems that need to be solved. But caregiving is also a work of art—there are dark areas and bright areas; rough patches and smooth sailing; pastel days with splashes of bold moments—and that’s what makes it all so intricate, all so worth it.
There’s really no way to understand the complex realities of caregiving without experiencing it firsthand. There’s no way to know the feeling of burnout with no horizon of respite in sight; or how truly lonely and overwhelming it can feel to be in charge of another’s care—be it by choice or not; or the emotional heft of the way one’s body aches from physically lifting, pulling, pushing, holding the person who is dearest to us; or the way change can be terrifying and isolating and can hold multitudes of unknowns. Caregiving is complex; it is deeply emotional, and quite difficult to wholly grasp until one experiences it for oneself.
Caregiving often feels small—micro actions, day in and day out, that amount to something as big and as important as caring for another human being. A true work of art, made up of the brushstrokes of washing another’s face, singing an upbeat song even when you feel weary, holding someone’s hand for hours, load after load of laundry…
You’re an artist. Your care is your masterpiece. You should be proud!