Skip to main content

I am a pastor who has spent many hours over and above the call of duty being there for people who were ill. I have arranged meals, transportation, and simply people who will sit and listen. I have cried with my members and hugged them lots. I have sat for hours with a spouse who had no support while their spouse was undergoing surgery. I have stayed hours at a hospital giving support to a family seeing a loved one die or before the plug was pulled. Yet I am sure that I have failed many many times. We complained to ourselves when I was asked to give up my Christmas eve with my family for a member who wanted to talk but would settle for a visit on Christmas Day.

Having said that, the tables are now turned. My mother is dying with cancer in the hospital. She also now has developed significant dementia. My mother in law is in a nursing home with advanced Alzheimers and now my wife of 36 years is losing her 3+ year battle with Ovarian Cancer. I have had to step out of ministry because I couldn't function effectively any longer.

I can understand how someone could lose faith. I have not. In fact, I am perhaps as strong as I have ever been. Yet very little help is given from our church. None but a handshake on Sundays from our Pastor. A few in the church would actually do something like prepare a meal or clean our house etc, if theyt were asked but we would never ask and they don't understand that.

I have a need. I wish I could have someone who would occasionally sit with me, sometimes hold my hand or give me a hug and tell me (and show me) that they love me and that everything is going to be OK.

It sure gets lonely, doesn't it?

Does anyone else ever feel the same way? I am new here. Obviously I am better giving support than receiving it!
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Dear Joe:

Welcome! You deserve a hug and then some... Your support of so many others in the past has been so gracious and kind.

It is different when it so close to home. Your mother, your wife, her mother... We all understand what you are going through and wish we could take your pain away.

If we could at least reach through cyberspace and hand your family a chicken and rice casserole, I bet many would have their aprons on by now... But, you do need some local help.

Here is a website for Faith in Action: See if they have one in your area and ask for help. It is hard to ask for help but you must do it. You need to care for yourself now too. Know that we are here for you and hope you will let us know how you are doing.

Big Hugs to You, Glenda
Hello Joe,

Welcome.. I know that while many may not have responded, there are many who are reading your post silently in the background who can truly relate to what you are experiencing. It is really a shame.. but as I continue to speak and do workshops, I must tell you that the story is the same with many religions and the abandonment.

Please know that you have reached out and you are supported... please feel free to share more.. sometimes, talking about it can heal and be so cathartic...

Richest blessings in all you are doing

Hi there, I just joined this group and your story is laying very heavy on my heart. I read that you posted in April of this year and am just curious to know how you and your wife are doing. My prayer for you is that you realize the enemy is trying hard to destoy your strong faith. It seems you have the armour needed to fight. Ephesians 6:10-18
Please let me know how you both are doing! I will keep you in my prayers!


Thanks for your kind words Jeanne. It is going on one year since that post. My wife is getting much weaker. The Doctor says that she will not beat this cancer. She has been in the hospital overnight twice this past week with heart difficulties. She cannot drive anymore. She cannot shop by herself so all the medical appointments and shopping etc, takes my time, which I gladly spend but it hurts my earning potential!

My Mother passed away in May, my mother in law is about the same in the nursing home with advanced Alzheimers.

I know that the Lord has something special in mind. And although I really felt that God was going to heal my wife, I want to consider what I would do if He didn't. After 37 years of married togetherness, I cannot even imagine what I would do or become as a single person. Honestly, that is a very scary thought!

My faith is strong but my body is weary. I would love a friend to confide in but guys don't do those things and being so very personal with another woman could lead to many difficulties both now and down the road! One lady who did become a bit of a support had just lost her adult daughter (the daughter was in her 20's) to a critical medical problem and somehow I must have revealed information to allow her to know my identity. She now calls me periodically and has visited my wife several times. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I wonder, what information does she share with my wife? And what does my wife think? It makes me nervous that I was so honest and transparent.

Anyway, that's how things are going. Jeanne, you sound like a saint having a heart for your Mother like you do. I am so sorry that you also must go through a divorce. Divorce is never easy, but especially now. You need your husband more than ever at this time!

I am praying for you Jeanne. I am glad for all who find comfort and solace on this Board!

Hello Joe,

I was touched again by your posting..I would like to encourage you to join a local support group for caregivers and or continue to reach out here at the boards.

There are few who understand what caregivers are or have gone through unless they have walked in their shoes. By opening up and being vulnerable.. it doesn't mean you failed your wife... it is challenging and difficult work and understanding that you aren't alone helps strengthen us to walk the journey further through the various stages and adapt at each one...

we are here to support you... and there are groups offline, if you need help in finding one, please let me know...

richest blessings
Well we went to the Oncologist this week and found that the cancer has spread to the lungs and neck. He thinks that she has 2 or 3 months left.

Her birthday is May 12 and this will be her last birthday and Mother's Day. How sad.

It really, really feels lonely. 2 of my children are serving our country. One in Baghdad (doing intelligence) and the other posted to SC for Nuclear School.

The weaker she gets, the more I must pick up in the caregiving duties. It is a privilege and not a burden. But does it ever wear thin!

Thank you guys for your prayer and encouragement. As silly as it may seem, when someone says here is a "hug" for you, I really feel it!

I am unsure how to connect with a support group, but I now know I really need something and soon.

Hello Joe...

I am truly sorry to hear of what you are going through.. not only are there daily losses with your wife, but it must be extremely trying with both your sons in service.. I am sure you would all much rather have them there with you. Coupled with the recent loss of your mother, it just doesn't seem fair.

I am hoping that you have already checked into the Hospice options that are available to your wife and for you and your sons. If you haven't, I encourage you to do so. There may be more than one program in your area, especially if there is more than one hospital.

Hospice programs provide so much emotional and spiritual support for the loved one who is ill as well as the family members with support groups, etc. There are teams of nurses and staff, volunteers and aids that come out to assist in the home to help maintain the quality of life that is needed when no more invasive treatments will be used. And, it is also important to know that they provide incredible palliative care.. which means keeping the patient free of pain and comfortable.

Are you seeking a support group on or offline? If you want to email me personally with your screen name in the subject line, with your zip code, I will try to research what is available to you in your locale.

In the meantime, I am sending huge hugs, loving prayers and more in your direction. You are not alone. Please don't ever forget this.

Please keep us posted... take care... richest blessings


Hello Joe, I feel badly that so much is being put on you, it's God's work and is not easy. I too recommend Hospice...they are a caring and compassionate group of people from the nurses to social workers. I did some work as a caregiver for Hospice way back and I can tell you it takes a very special person to work for them. I had my own crises going on at the time and remained working with Hospice for a couple of months. It can be a very depressing job and so it is important to have your head on straight and healthy boundaries in place. You may also try a local hospital as they can put you in touch with a support group to fit your needs. Your wife is a better person for having you in her life and knowing and feeling your devotion and love. I commend you and thank you for your service.

To ordinary Joe


I also spent many hours as a Christian volunteering with the mentally disabled, physically disabled, and loved ones dying of cancer and heart disease.  I double majored in college in special education as well as special recreation for the disabled.  At 21 years old in 1980 a tick was found in my neck and a  previous one on my face with a bulls eye rash.  Newly married and with my whole life in front of me, serving special needs kids and adults, I had no idea what was in front of me. I had no idea that Lyme disease took me out at age 21 and I became the disabled one.  I did not get the medical help I needed because of the lack of knowledge in 1980.

Ordinarily, Joe, you are so right. It was so much easier being the one giving the support instead of recieving.  I am 52 years old  now with chronic lyme disease and need help, support, encouragement and just someone to talk to at times

when my husband is at work andI am isolated.   I am lucky to still have my husband. Our family who helped us passed away or moved away.  We cannot find a caregiver to help us with just basic and mediocre chores. . I was so moved by your story, Joe.

Thanks for sharing it and I can empathize with you.  Does anyone know how we can get a good caregiver on this blog or site, or if not can someone offer suggestions where to go. I am ambulatory and can take care of my basic needs. We just need help with meals, laundry, and some light housekeeeping.  Not a full time job, just part time. Large room and board in an upscale area of southern california. Their own private bathroom , all  the food they want, paid utilities. and a small salary. .Cannot afford anymore, but what we offer for part time help is worth well over $1100 plus a few hundred salary. This is also an expensive southern california regional area where just a small room rents for $650 a month. Does anyone on this site have any suggestions, or can help my husband and I with any helpful tips.We are obviously a new first time posting and I apologize for being too long winded, and thank you for bearing with me. We are just desperate for help like the rest of you.  We have tried craigs list with some funky responses. Not much luck with our local churches and two university postings. Any other suggestions,please?.


Thank you


Sage  and Chris 

Last edited by Sage

Hi Sage, I worked as a caregiver in LA/Beverly Hills. I have since moved out of state but can recommend you call Greg at the "Gloria Hicks Nursing Registry". Greg is an awesome guy. I no longer have the phone number but you can google it. You can tell him Doreene recommended his service, it's been several years ago that I was employed there. I would just advise that you make it clear you want a responsible caregiver with recommendations. Best of luck.

Hi Everyone!

I just learned of this website and happen to read some of the postings. However, I truly liked the caring of honest hearts out there. I am an Adult Ed Teacher and I have never seen so many in crisis like there is today. We all are going through different trials and one thing we must remember is that if "God brings us to it, he will most definitely see us through it" keep  Faith and Hope Alive.

Welcome Angela... thank you for offering your support... I encourage members to communicate with you via this forum instead of encouraging them to contact you personally for two reasons: 


1. others can learn from the needs of others when they read the info here at the forum


2. Empowering Caregivers is in existence for almost 14 years providing community..  we appreciate that members don't try to pull other members from the community.. this is in our posting rules.. please be mindful of this.. I trust you understand.


Thank you



Empowering Caregivers

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.