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Compassion not sympathy: A carer’s perspective

By Geoff Finnigan

Not only is this disease so horrible to endure for the sufferer of MND.

But the other side of the coin is the partner and family trying to cope with the emotional issues that are created.

Field of cornflowers

I myself have trouble coping at times. Emotional feelings ebb and flow, relationships can be irreparably damaged at times. From talking to other people who have lost their partner through traumatic illnesses, a common feelings is, that we must control our emotions, and quite often we cannot. We have lost our partner, we seek affection, we want clarity in our new life's journey.

We want understanding, compassion, BUT NOT SYMPATHY. Don't take our grief away from us.

This is our journey this is our grief, no one elses. We don't want platitudes, advice. And we don't want anyone to interfere with our grief, or assume they understand, they cannot. It is a journey that we have to travel alone, not even family members can help.

Sure counseling helps, but it is the nights that are the worst, silence, loneliness, sleeping by yourself after so many years as a couple. Those are the worst times, your mind works overtime trying to make sense of it all.

But life has to go on, sure it does, but at times it is so f ..... g hard.

I have at times worried I am doing Karen a disservice, am I writing for my own personal emotional release or am I paying homage to Karen. I still don't know for sure, but, I do feel that these words are keeping Karens spirit alive.

I wake just before dawn when i get that urge to write.

The last time this happened i had a vision .. this vision was of me standing in front of an audience.

Beside me to my left is Karen, she is standing behind me and she is telling me "Go on Geoff, tell them!"

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