Meditation on LIFE—bereavement

Today, we want everyone to try to empathize with the older adults, someone who has a chronic condition, or the weak.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The theory is a momentous development basis for the study of human psychology, behaviour, learning, and social ethics. According to Abraham Harold Maslow, an American psychologist, there are 5 levels of human needs—physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. The former needs are basic needs; one would not feel fulfilled unless all needs are met.

When one is being cared for, they live on another person’s timeline.

If you are interested in learning more, we encourage you to read the book. I hope that people can better understand the needs and response of a sick or elderly person through understanding and learning of the theory. Under the care of a caregiver or medical staff, one’s basic survival needs may have somewhat fulfilled; other needs such as health and financial security, physical or emotional intimacy such as sexual relationships or emotional bonds are yet to fulfill. They are left alone with limited mobility, and now their family, if they have any, is even banned from visiting—which makes it even harder for them to fulfill their social needs.

When one is being taken care of, they live on another person’s timeline and at another person’s pace—they are fed, changed, bathed by another person. Their naked bodies—not by choice—will be seen by another person. It would be difficult enough to fulfill the first 4 needs in the theory, let alone the last, the needs of self-fulfillment such as skill development / goal achievements.

Therefore, when a person has a life-threatening illness, they not only have trouble coping with the illness but also other needs.

Once we realize their adversities and unfulfilled essential needs, we may perhaps be able to understand their seemingly unreasonable anger and complaints, loss of motivation, confusion, withdrawal and distance. I once read a book, in which the author described the distressed feelings of a person who is being taken care of in detail—depression, unhappiness… denial, unwillingness, unable to reconcile, loss of appetite, unfriendliness, offensiveness, to name a few. These, are experienced by both the caregiver and the people in need.

We may not be able to fulfill all of their needs, but if we are willing, there are still many things that we can do to help make their life in distress just a little easier.

The advice will be shared across a few articles, before you read on and exercise the advice, we want to build some positive emotions.

Step by step. Little by little.

Oftentimes when we are a caregiver (and especially to our loved ones), we are depended upon for their needs—our shortcomings surface and we may feel like as if we are trying to solve a mission impossible. But what we need to understand is that body, emotions, spirit, and social are interlinked. It may be difficult to change all at once, yet if we change one thing at a time, little by little, the other pieces will follow. For instance, if we renew our spirituality—we will be more energetic; positive emotions will follow, and we will feel better physically. We will then be more willing to converse with others.

On the contrary, it will be impossible if we want to lift up and move this heavy chain all at once, yet it seems feasible if we only move one ring at a time.

Let us keep this positive thinking and momentum so we can help our loved ones live a more fulfilling life. 

Lord, have mercy on us.

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