My mother died at the age of 54, I was just 28. She fought hard, living with early onset dementia, but lost her battle in 2013. In the years before her death I spent a lot of time helping to care for her whilst balancing a full time job at GOD TV. I wouldn’t have been able to care for my mum half as well as I did during that time if it wasn’t for my colleagues there.
Whether it was giving me space to vent, giving me a listening ear or just leaving alone to process my thoughts and emotions, my colleagues were always there to help. I owe a lot of thanks to Simon Russell, Scott and Fergus, they made me feel strong when I was weak, they gave me distraction when I needed it, but above all they gave me understanding. My mum sadly never met my colleagues, but I know if she could she would have wanted to thank you Simon, Russell, Scott and Fergus for the love you showed me.
It can be easy to become bitter towards the world and resentful of the lives others lead when you find yourself in a bad spot, but a quote that I heard once has kept me going through the hard times – “Life is hard, but God is good”.
Care for the carer
When you know people who are caring for sick friends and relatives, one of the most helpful things you can do is care for the carer. Sometimes we can be paralysed by not knowing what to do to help the person that friend or relative is caring for, and if you find yourself in that situation I would urge you just to pick up the phone and just get in touch with the one doing the caring.
Being a carer can be quite isolating so anything you can do to make the carer feel like they are being cared for will go a long way to helping them, in turn helping them to give better care.
Having a team behind you, whether that be friends, relatives or colleagues can give you so much strength and working at GOD TV it really felt like I had a team behind me. I would always feel guilty about leaving my mother to go to work, but I know going to work really helped me. If you find yourself in the position of caring for a loved one remember to be kind to yourself and don’t be afraid to lean on others around you.
After my mum passed away I wrote a book called Unbreakable Bond which shares my experiences of caring for my mum and offers a lot of support and advice for anyone currently caring for someone.
It is available at most good book stockists. I wrote the book as a promise that I made to my mother before she died and I wrote it because so much of her life was devoted to helping others that I wanted her life to keep positively impacting others for years to come.