I was asked to evaluate 90-year-old George, a handsome, distinguished-looking gentleman with a full head of white hair. The hospital nurses thought he might be suicidal because he wondered aloud, "What's the point of going on?" You see, it had been three years since George's wife died and, after 62 years of marriage, he was struggling with the promise of another holiday season alone. By his own admission, George wasn't really suicidal. He was "lonesome."
If you spend any time near the ocean, you are likely to hear about a dangerous sea condition known as a Rip Tide. Rip Tides are responsible for dozens of drownings each year, rapidly sweeping unsuspecting swimmers out to sea. Yet, these deaths are preventable if you know how to respond to a Rip Tide.
They are the unspoken heroes of any town. You don't see them around much; they are not often out and about. They work tirelessly, long hours, mostly for no financial gain and sometimes little thanks. Theirs is a true labor of love because it's a job nobody wants. They won't admit it, but often they feel trapped in a position that launches them powerlessly slipping down a slide into a dark abyss, where the only savior from the life sentence is death itself. They are the caregivers.
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