When caregiving means saying goodbye to your spousecaregivingbyjulia2022-01-04T17:27:44-08:00
When caregiving means saying goodbye to your spouse is a painful reality for many; both women and men.
In this Keeping it REAL Caregiving interview segment, meet a woman who experienced the pain, loss and grief of saying goodbye to her life partner.
Jen Stewart last August (2020) lost her husband Tom after a battle with cancer. He was just 53-years old.
For this segment, Jen was kind enough to talk about her experiences and share insight with others who may be moving through something similar.
During our chat, Jen shared with me the following:
“This was something that really hit us out of the blue. Before he was diagnosed with cancer and started suffering from the disease, he was the healthiest person. He was my best friend, my partner…he had just turned 50 and was on this quest to be the healthiest he had ever been at 50.
Tom was my fitness partner, my parenting partner and then all of a sudden my partner needed help. It was a situation where you saw the disease quickly taking things away from him, where he was starting to lose who he used to be.
And, it was challenging because it was caregiving, but you are also losing your best friend and watching that happen before your eyes. It was difficult, but you also had to be that support system and that strong person for him and for the kids.”
Jen and Tom Stewart/Courtesy: Jen Stewart
I asked Jen if there was anything that truly stood out for her as her husband was approaching the end of his life?
Is there anything that really stands out as you were approaching the time of knowing the time with your husband was coming to a close?
“So, Tom would say, I’m not afraid of dying, I’m afraid of not living. And so, we did what we could to make sure he enjoyed life. He LOVED Karaoke…we continued the Karaoke parties; if we went to an event (pre-Covid) he was out on the dance floor.”