In a crisis, few of us know how to act. We desperately want to help, but we are afraid of overstepping or intruding where we shouldn't.
Last week I relayed Evelyn's story. She is a well spouse who was making a simcha.
Dealing with chronic illness when planning even the most joyous of occasions is very difficult, even when there is no crisis at the moment.
For more than a year now, I have been relating stories from and about well spouses. When these stories reflected a common experience, I wrote about them.
When we first marry, we assume life will be wonderful. We rarely think about or discuss potential problems or the possibility of illness darkening our doorstep.
Well spouses with ill partners face a dilemma. Whether the ill spouse's care is long-term hospitalization or a nursing home, the absence of a partner over a long period changes the nature of the family unit.
As we go through this journey called life, we meet many people and make many friends.
None of us would deliberately hurt our friends. We would not tell jokes about the blind to a blind person or to a relative of a blind person.
A Get (Jewish divorce) must be given freely and received freely. A man must be able, in front of two witnesses, to indicate his willingness to divorce his wife.
My mother used to say you never know who your good friends are until you go through a crisis.
Let's paint a picture with your mind. Picture a couple. The wife is standing beside her husband. Lets add four children, say three, five, seven and an infant. Paint a beautiful summer day. The birds are singing, the flowers are out and the grass is lush and green. The family is taking a walk. The three year old is balancing on his new tricycle. The infant is asleep in a stroller. The five and seven year olds are kicking a soccer ball as they walk along. The family stops to sit under a tree. The infant has fallen asleep.
Last week I wrote about well spouses who eventually chose to get a physicians help with the problems they were having coping, with their partners' chronic illness.
Many people in my generation were brought up with an aversion to any medication that did not deal with a physical problem.
The law requires disability access in most public places. For the most part, new stores, restaurants and theaters have complied.
Emotional trauma takes an invisible toll. Unlike a physical ailment, an illness or a broken leg, the trauma is not visible to the eye.
Have you ever stood dominoes up in a row about an inch apart and then tipped the first one over?
We are in a new phase of medical treatment - patient participation.
I was recently in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I could not get over the magnificent scenery.
We have all experienced overload. It happens when our minds are just too full of worry, problems, or things that must be done now.
How we see ourselves and what we think we are capable of doing are very powerful forces.
Socially inappropriate behavior is part and parcel of chronic illness.
I just got off the phone with my oldest grandson. He is four.
Loss is a personal and monumental event. It is different for everyone who experiences it.
Last week, I wrote about the need to make Jewish institutions open to all Jews.
It is difficult and expensive to make old institutions accessible to wheelchairs.