As we continue through National Family Caregivers Month, I wanted to acknowledge this insight as “another face of care giving.” Indeed, it is an insight that starts inside The Actual Dance. It is the ultimate climatic point of the play, understanding that taking care of Susan through what might be her last days is not devastating or tragic, but rather it is filled “with beauty and dignity... and is the ultimate consummation of our love."
It had not occurred to me until now though that what happened during that year with Susan was for love to take on a new and deeper form. Taking care of someone or being there for someone whose health is compromised or whose time is perhaps coming to an end actually has the potential to create new levels and depths of connection and love.
Beyond my own experience with Susan and her year with breast cancer, I have seen this same phenomena take place with each of my sisters. They have each served at different times as care givers for their spouse or significant others during illness, even death. It was confusing to me sometimes to watch their own transformations. Now I think I understand the new and deeper love they experienced.
It is not exactly clear to me what all the elements that are at play in this process. Yet I am sure that it is true that when you are thrust into the position of caring for the needs of a loved one for their survival the true gift is to the care giver. It is the gift of the love that is created the new perspective of the person and the relationship that emerges through the process.
Yes, care giving creates love. It can transform all that has gone before and set the stage for all that will become. It is one of the ways that lives and souls become entwined and the bond of existence awakens in each of the parties.
God blesses the caregivers who are creators of love.