Waiting can be exhausting. In care-giving when the end of the journey is in sight, there is a connection with the patient that intensifies. It has nothing to do with the actual work in caring for them. It is deeper, a connection that is forged from possibly years of interaction. In caring for others there is an intimacy forged that is different from any other relationship. There can be conflicting emotions involved that are normal and natural. A hope that death does not come soon and at the same time, wanting some relief from the waiting and tension, which is I suppose is a form of suffering on both sides.
As death nears, the connection deepens and no matter where the caregiver is, that connection cannot be broken….which at least for me can be exhausting. In any case, it is simply part of the human experience, and like all human experiences brings with it joy and sorrow. Just another dance, that needs to be played through to the end, allowing closure at last to happen.
One day, I know the roles will be reversed and I will be the one being cared for. I hope I can get through it with the grace that many I have cared for have done.
In the end, many have to go through this at least once or twice in their lives, when they take care of their parents, or other family members. We are all in line; we are just not sure when our number will be called to make this journey, both as care-giver and care-receiver.