Nicole Dauz is a caregiver coach, self-care advocate, author and speaker. Her mission is to change the story around caregiving and celebrate the journey. She seeks to honor the role of caregivers by helping them recognize their worth and true gifts. She shares, “As family caregivers, we take on the role of caring for a loved one. Depending on the circumstances, it can easily become all-consuming. We need to remember that we are each an amazing individual who deserves all the love, compassion, and grace that we so easily give to others.”
Nicole wrote a special love letter for family caregivers, and we hope you will take a moment to read it and be encouraged. You are important. Thank you for being a caregiver.
An Ode to Self – I See Your Brilliance
I am here and will always be your biggest cheerleader.
You think that no one sees all of the effort – the paperwork, the coordination of appointments, and the patience – because so much of what you do goes on behind closed doors, but I see it all, and I applaud you for your unwavering commitment.
You think that no one knows about your worries, your fears, your guilt, and your sadness, but I see it all, and I want to remind you that these are experienced by all caregivers. While these emotions and feelings may feel crippling at times, they are normal, and I encourage you to feel them all.
Don’t ignore your emotions and feelings. Cry, acknowledge, bless, and release. These responses don’t mean that you are weak. Oh no – quite the contrary. They make you more resilient, more compassionate, and more caring.
You are the best thing that could have happened to the person for whom you are caring.
You are a shining light in this sometimes dark world.
Your heart is so big and so pure that you can love yourself and others with such abandon.
Thank you for never giving up – even when you feel overwhelmed.
Thank you for being a beautiful example of a selfless caregiver.
Remember to not lose yourself in your caregiver role. Take time for yourself. Learn to say ‘no.’ Surround yourself with activities and people who bring you joy.
Most importantly, trust yourself.
You know deep down what you need. Your heart always knows. Learn to love yourself with such conviction that you can look back at those times of darkness and sadness and be filled with pride on this amazing journey that you have travelled. We can never truly appreciate the light if we’ve never experienced the darkness.
You are worthy of all the amazing things that this life has to offer.
Your guardian angel, self.
With love from your friend in care,
Adapted from Nicole Dauz’s article on www.caregiving.com. Visit www.caregiving.com/posts/love-letter-to-family-caregivers to read her full article.