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All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Friday, April 10, 2009

Forgiveness Is Not Always Easy

By Patricia Grace

As a fan of the show ER from the very first episode, I was of course glued to the TV for the finale. If you were one of the many who tuned in for the last episode, you were more than likely touched by the scene between the elderly couple who had known each other since first grade. The tenderness of the scene where the husband asks the emergency room doctor to do something, to do more, brought tears to my eyes.

However, what made the tears flow down my cheeks was the scene of the daughter telling the emergency room nurse that she couldn’t remember why she was estranged from her mom and that of course “now it really doesn’t matter because she’s dying.” What this scene was conveying in a very poignant way is to treat everyone like it is their last day with you.

I thought about arguments and disagreements that I have had with my own mother over the years. Many times, it was for silly reasons; other times, not so. With my anger and hurt would come resentment and occasionally short periods where I would not call or visit. Thankfully, I always came to realize that I was wrong—not wrong in the sense of the argument, but wrong in my actions. I can’t imagine how horrible and guilty I would have felt if something had happened to her during a period when we were not speaking. Somehow, I learned to forgive her.

Forgiveness is the key to moving forward with any relationship, especially with our parents. It’s the only way I was able resolve my anger and resentment for real or imagined slights over the years. True forgiveness requires honesty, not only about a situation or another person, but also about yourself. Forgiveness is not always easy, but it always leads to healing.


  1. "True forgiveness requires honesty, not only about a situation or another person, but also about yourself."

    What a great observation!

    Forgiveness is wonderful, and I love the way you explore it here.

    Forgiving others is tough, but if you don't it could be even harder to forgive yourself later. Anybody else ever had that experience?

    B. Lynn Goodwin
    Author of You Want Me to Do What? Journaling for Caregivers

  2. This is such an important message! So many families are destroyed because of choosing not to forgive. Yet, as you also have discovered, forgiveness is a gift to the giver as well as the recipient! Thank you for sharing this! :)


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