Summary of Chapter 8: Prepare to Say Goodbye

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Most care-share teams are created with the idea of accomplishing a specific task or group of tasks. A PSN brings people together during a time of need. It may be a short term need or one that may go on for an extended period of time with each having a beginning, middle and end. It may be just one person leaving the team or the team’s purpose has been fulfilled. With your PSN, you are encouraged to honor the contribution made by the departing team member(s). Good beginnings are very important, but so, too, are good endings.

In Chapter 8, you will discover how to create good endings even during heightened emotions from conflicts or loss. You want to be able to embrace all that was good from the experience of having participated in someone’s PSN or perhaps your own as the care receiver. It is not uncommon for care teams to develop into long lasting relationships. Good endings promote good beginningstoo. One of the gifts this Chapter provides is how to create good endings and to say good bye respectfully and honorably, preserving good memories and embracing the knowledge gained.

Situations differ on why a good-bye maybe needed. Family conflicts or personal styles may offend a team member. A care-team member may no longer support the existing situation. A care partner may no longer be appropriate in a care-giver's position. The care partner may get well. The care partner may die.

For most of the reasons for a team ending, it's quite natural to experience complex feelings: relief mixed with sorrow, anger combined with guilt, or fear overlaid with depression. All of this is normal and needs to be accepted, experienced, understood and passed through.

What's important at the time of leave-taking is to honor the good that has come from the relationship, recognize hard parts but focus on the intention to help -- and say goodbye both to the expectations and dreams, as well as to the individual.