It’s All a Puzzle
A television documentary this week impacted me when I followed the dedication and resourcefulness of the caregiver, a young woman whose husband has Multiple Sclerosis. Two of Alice Cook’s quotes resonated. “I just don’t think about the emotional side,” she says. “You get numb because you’re so busy. I literally don’t have time to be sad. I just stay on task.”
According to Cook, it also helps “to approach things as a puzzle or a game rather than as something to get you down.”
From my perspective staying on task throughout the caregiver’s journey, and after, is a two-fold assignment. We do what we have to do as best we can, not with resignation but with devotion. It’s often a hard slug, magnified by the inevitable end. Now and then though, a whisper of a smile or shared moment that feels truly special.
Our footsteps take a new path when we break our own trail through and over unfamiliar obstacles. The new assignment is recovery and renewal. This is where I feel that recognizing our progress through the Stages of Grief is empowering, when we use our wits to grow and move forward. Part of my ebb and flow is feeling needy, though I have a circle of loving friends and family.
Kudos to Alice Cook for her objective solution “to approach things as a puzzle or a game rather than as something to get you down.” I think of a game as an activity that brings both satisfaction and mirth, in contrast to working our way through a maze to solution. It’s all a puzzle.