Care Pages for the Rest of Us

Have you used those Care Pages that people set up to keep their loved ones apprised of the day-to-day happenings in the midst of crisis or illness?  I find them enormously helpful for getting updates on chronic situations without having to bug the person I’m concerned about.

I remember when I had breast cancer, and I was hugely inspired by a book called “Where the Buffaloes Roam,” by Bob Stone.  It was the story of a cancer patient gathering the resources of all his loved ones around him, on a team (called “the buffaloes”), to get through his illness.  And they advocated having a phone number that people could call to get updates on the patient.  Pre-internet of course.

So today we can log on for updates, or receive them in our inbox.  And it’s handy.

All of which got me thinking about how we care for each other in crisis mode and what constitutes crisis mode.  We all agree that a dreaded cancer diagnosis or an inexplicable illness with horrific details warrants invested care from friends and family.  Not controversial, is it?

Yet when someone is going through a seemingly endless emotional crisis, or a season of great turmoil over a decision or loss, or when someone is on the journey that Christians call “sanctification,” which can look suspiciously like “she’s a mess; will it ever end?” we don’t know what to do with them.

I was thinking how great it would be for it to be okay, even normal, for us all to accept and expect each other’s emotional roller-coaster moments, and how great it would be if we felt comfortable posting something to a Care Page so that anyone who cared to check could know “This is one of the days when some extra grace or a casserole or a prayer would be REALLY GOOD.”  

Instead we all just soldier on, dealing with our own sorrows and not knowing others’.  That seems like a shame.  It’s sort of like when young parents crave a break from babies and wish someone would help, and older women sit at home sad that they don’t have babies to hang out with anymore.  

Needs/availability mismatch. Just a thought.  No solutions today.

~ by Cary on February 24, 2009.

2 Responses to “Care Pages for the Rest of Us”

  1. You would be interested in this meditation that Steve sent me today from Henri Nouwen. Yes, it’s interesting, but so risky–or so we think.

    Bringing Our Secrets into the Light

    “We all have our secrets: thoughts, memories, feelings that we keep to ourselves. Often we think, “If people knew what I feel or think, they would not love me.” These carefully kept secrets can do us much harm. They can make us feel guilty or ashamed and may lead us to self-rejection, depression, and even suicidal thoughts and actions.

    One of the most important things we can do with our secrets is to share them in a safe place, with people we trust. When we have a good way to bring our secrets into the light and can look at them with others, we will quickly discover that we are not alone with our secrets and that our trusting friends will love us more deeply and more intimately than before. Bringing our secrets into the light creates community and inner healing. As a result of sharing secrets, not only will others love us better but we will love ourselves more fully.”

  2. Wishing I could bring by a casserole!

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