This thoughtful, beautiful piece was written by my dear friend and brother, Dave Dunham. Dave was already serving as one of the elders in the Keller congregation when Tanya and I came in 2012. After caring for his precious wife Carole through various major, ongoing health issues, he now faces life here without her. His love for her, both before and after her death, is sweet, strong, and touching. Though she died, his love for her lives on and will never die. And, speaking of the future, he knows, as she did, the great hope we have in Jesus Christ. Many of our blog readers will appreciate his words and his heart, due to your own circumstances as caregivers. Please share this with others.
Ode to Caregivers, by David Dunham
Life is hard when you are caring for a loved one. Long hours, no extended periods of relaxation, memorizing the names of more drugs than you knew existed and the list goes on. Indeed life is hard, Deep down you know, death is harder.
Yes, life is hard when you can’t really finish anything you finally get started. Not in one setting anyway. But you struggle through knowing that even though this life is hard, you are absolutely sure, death is harder.
Finally! A good night’s sleep is at hand. Not so fast my friend. There is a need that needs filled and you are going make sure that it is. Sleep can be had tomorrow. Yes, this life is hard, death is harder.
Is this the living room? Or a hospital room? It’s hard to tell these days. Even so, this is certainly more comfortable and pleasant than rehab. It’s a lot of work. It makes this life hard. No matter. Death is harder.
Is this the bedroom or a supply and treatment room? Funny, it seems that those are now the same thing. There was a time I cared about such things. Yes, this life is hard. I’m certain that death is harder.
Cuddle? Snuggle? How about an extended silent hug? What I wouldn’t give for some special togetherness. This life is so hard. I guarantee you, death is harder.
Am I becoming callous or just trying to give good care? Sometimes I can’t tell. Am I in nurse mode or spouse mode? Man, this life is hard. I’m so fearful that death is harder.
What time did you go to bed? I don’t know. What time is it now? What day is it?! The weekend! Oh, I forgot, no days off. This life is so hard. How can death be harder?
There was only one way all that could end. It has ended. What am I going to do with all this stuff. What am I going to do with all this time? I thought I could sleep for a week. I can’t sleep at all. That life was hard. Death is harder.
Written by Cory Collins
Cory Collins is a Bible teacher and a minister of the gospel. He serves with Keller church of Christ in Keller, Texas. He and his wife, Tanya, have been married since 1977. They have two children and two grandchildren.