Welcome to www.OnlineOrganizing.com -- A World Of Organizing Solutions Your Order Your Shopping Cart About Us Contact Us Site Map
Do You Need Help Getting Organized?Shop For Organizing And Business Development ProductsProfessional Organizing ServicesFind A Seminar, Workshop, Or Keynote SpeakerRead Our Two Free Monthly NewslettersFree Organizing Tips And AdviceResources For Professional OrganizersLearn How To Become A Professional OrganizerUseful Organizing Website LinksUseful Organizing Website Links

Search for:


You Are Here: Home - Blogs

NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   Health - Goal Setting - Stress - Downsizing - Estates - Death

Blog: Ignite Your Energy and Grow Your Life!
What I learned as my mother's caregiver. . .

August 1st 2009 our family received the news that my mom had terminal liver cancer.  September 29th she passed away.  I spent the better part of August and all of September helping my sisters care for her - her fervent wish was to die at home, and we were able to honor that wish.  Once she received the diagnosis, she immediately began to prepare to die.  She stopped eating, refused any treatments to slow the growth of the golf ball sized tumor on her liver, and put the last of her affairs in order.

She had never been the same since my brother died last year of a sudden heart attack at age 51.  She told us once that years ago she'd expressed a fear to him that she would get cancer because so many of her family had died that way.  He laughed and replied that he believed her karma didn't include getting cancer.  "You don't need cancer,"  he said.  Well, apparently she did on some level, because she went from healthy to terminally ill in the space of 6 months. 

I have never done any sort of caregiving apart from helping my kids through the usual childhood colds and flu, and a 1 year stint with my son Andrew when he suffered from chronic fatigue in high school.  Instead of hiring help, my sisters and I agreed I would move in with her until the end, and we'd share her care among the three of us. 

Although I've coached clients who have had caregiving responsibilities, I could only relate from an abstract level - not a personal one.  I am very grateful for this difficult experience.  I understand what a terrible strain it is on the body and the emotions.  The intense care of my mother lasted only a month.  But there are countless women out there whose duties go on for years, taking a tremendous toll on their lives and spirits. 

It's not just the day to day physical care - the medications that had to be given round the clock, cleaning and changing her (we had hospice but not at night).  While I was there my sisters asked for my professional organizing expertise to help them get the house in order.  My mother was quite a "collector".  She was also a believer in "if one is good, 3 are better."  The girls were totally overwhelmed so with the help of my mom's housekeeper (she's Alice from the Brady Bunch - an amazing woman with absolutely non-stop energy!) we attacked the house systematically from top to bottom.  By the time I left on October 10th, the home where I had been born was ready for its new owner.  I'm glad I won't see the "For Sale" sign hung, I still can't imagine I won't be going there for Christmas.

The experience of being both a caregiver and my own professional organizer, while emotionally and physically draining, gave me an opportunity I will never forget.  Nothing is as powerful as the compassion and understanding that comes from personal experience.  I know now, at some level, how you feel.  I've been through it. 

My mother passed the day after her 81st birthday.  I will miss her terribly, but I am happy she is finally at peace.  Her grief at outliving one of her children was impossible for her to overcome.  Whether it was her karma or not, the cancer that claimed her was swift and for the most part painless and it ended her greater suffering.  I'm also very glad I was able to spend her last days with her and that she was able to say a personal goodbye to her friends and family.

In her memory, I'm recommited to sharing my experiences and finding new ways to help you combat stress, stay healthy and live with purpose and passion.

posted on: 10/27/2009 9:30:00 AM by Robin Stephens
category: Time Management

Ignite Your Energy and Grow Your Life!: < Previous Post - Next Post >
Blog Central: < Previous Post - Next Post >

Discuss This Post

There are no comments.

Add a comment about this post:
(Note: To reduce blogspam, HTML tags are not permitted in blog comments and will be removed)
Please Enter The Following Code:
In order to cut down on SPAM, we ask that you enter the code exactly as shown in image below. If you can't read the code, simply select "Load New Code" and a different graphic will appear. Cookies must be enabled on your web browser.
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code Load New Code
Powered by Web Wiz CAPTCHA version 2.01
Copyright ©2005-2006 Web Wiz


Ignite Your Energy and Grow Your Life!

by Robin Stephens

View This Blog

   Subscribe To This Blog

About Robin:

Hello, I'm Robin Stephens -
your "M"power coach! The "M" stands for Mind -
because that's where all change begins!
I'm a professional organizer, certified
personal trainer and lifestyle management coach.
Welcome to YourLifeinOrder.com - Lifestyle
Fitness for Sassy, Seasoned Women professionals
and business owners.
Is your life healthy, wealthy and organized?
A healthy body MEANS business!
A healthy home environment supports and
strengthens you. Purposeful goals encourage
you to live with passion and balance - in your
professional and personal life.
Visit me at www.yourlifeinorder.com for
your free Success kit! Get free resources
and tips on how to reclaim, release, and
renew your body, mind, spirit and your
environment. Make yourself the focal
point and shine like the diamond you are
with radiant health, energy, and passion!
Contact me at
[email protected]@gmail.com/[email protected]
or call 206-473-7697.

Robin's Website:


Robin's Other Blogs:

Robin's Products:

Add this page to your Bookmarks!

E-mail this page to a friend!

www.OnlineOrganizing.com is a service mark of Bradford, LLC.
Content on this site is © Bradford, LLC, All rights reserved.

If you notice any problems with this site, please contact our webmaster.
And if you don't see what you need you are welcome to "ask the organizer" any question!

To see what people are saying about www.OnlineOrganizing.com, check out our visitor comments.

Click here to view our privacy policy.

Calendar Of Organizing Holidays And Events Blog Central Sign Up For Our Free Online Newsletters Join The Conversation At Our Organizing Discussion Board Advertise Your Company On Our Website Be An Affiliate Of www.OnlineOrganizing.com
Check Us Out On FaceBook