A Changed View

The writer of this article shares a personal story of how she went from sympathy to empathy. Here’s her account of how her dealing with long term patients changed:

“Having worked in the long-term care arena since 2007, I have had the opportunity to interact with many elders and their family members. I’ve had a front row seat to see what the aging process looks like for those who live in our assisted living and long term care settings. Dementia all too often goes hand in hand with aging. I think it is challenging-or more challenging- for families than it is for the elders themselves.”

A life event changed her sympathy to empathy. “While I have always sympathized with this loss of connection I did not fully understand it until now. My mother-in-law, who is approaching 99, has always prided herself on maintaining her mind and her memory. A woman who has spent 20+ years telling everyone that ‘I was the daughter she never had,’ now looks at me without recognition. She knows the people around her in assisted living, she knows my husband when she hears his voice, but, somehow, I have slipped from her memory.”

Her new realization from this: “Having been without parents for far too long, she was the person who played that role for me, doing it with love and grace, making me feel like her daughter. I know that I will feel that loss. And I know I do, and I will, understand far more fully the pain that families feel as they experience these heartbreaking changes.”

In the midst of our pain, God gives His grace, mercy, and peace. He comforts us and heals us (Psalm 147:3) so we can help others as He has helped us (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Source: Carol Silver Elliott; (TOI)