On Remembrance Day, it is important to recognize the experiences of your veteran carepartner. Veterans may be needing care, due to aging, illness, injury, or other causes, related or unrelated to their time serving their country.
Unfortunately, the scars of war and conflict can last much longer than any physical injury. Recently I read about survivors of the Second World War and only some veterans were compelled to share their experiences as a way of deterring future generations from war. Other veterans were more guarded, unsure if they would become overwhelmed by feelings, or scared they would re-experience long-buried trauma.
I remember talking to my grandmother as she was experiencing symptoms of dementia and she was worried that the boys would be sent to war. She was coming of age in Saskatchewan during the second world war. When her friends and classmates enlisted, it signalled the end of a happy prairie childhood. After the war, she married my grandfather, a veteran who experienced symptoms of PTSD which lasted the entirety of his life. The reality is that the traumatic experience of war is one that stays with a person for their lifetime.
To honour your veteran carepartner’s experience, you can:
- Listen to your carepartner’s stories.
- Gently ask questions about their experience.
- Pull out the photographs of your carepartner in uniform.
- Spend a moment in silence, no matter where you are.
- Support The Royal Canadian Legion and wear a poppy by your heart.
- Recite John McCrae’s famous poem, In Flanders Fields.
- Attend a local Remembrance Day ceremony.