I want to take a moment to send my condolences and loving support to Terry Shepherd. While I have never met her in person, I feel I know her quite well, as I’ve been following her terry1954 blog for awhile.
Terry was the primary caregiver of her brother, Al, who had a terribly debilitating disease called Multiple System Atrophy. Al was mentally challenged as well, which complicates the caregiving situation. Over the last several months, poor Al has essentially been dying a slow death. While Terry had some home health help and a dear friend who would offer her moments of respite, Terry took care of most of Al’s needs, from feeding to bathing and changing his diaper. Terry bravely and beautifully documented her caregiving experiences on her blog. She has many blogger friends who like me, know what a special person she is and offered support and advice throughout the ordeal. On Monday, Terry wrote on her blog that the angels came.
Those of us who have experience the death of a loved one, especially when long suffering is involved, know that there is some level of relief that their loved one is free of pain and disease. But of course, the grief at the loss of someone you’ve been so close to and have taken care of is still so painful to bear. If you have any words of solace or support you would like to send along to Terry, you can do so on her blog.
I have learned so much from Terry. The patience, love and fighting spirit she had in caring for her brother is admirable and a great example for all of us to follow. She does not sugarcoat the caregiving experience: the loneliness and isolation, the frustration with care providers, the hopelessness and exhaustion. Terry bares her soul on her blog, and I can only hope that her blog followers offered her at least some solace through our support and prayers for her and Al.
Rest in peace, dear Al. I hope you are flying with the angels.