You have worked very hard and have done very well to get to this point. Please take a break and read the words here. May the light of hope shine on your weary heart.
From the teachings of Master Ryuho Okawa, to heal the fatigue of caregiving and nursing. I have selected prescriptions for your heart.
This world is only a preparation period for returning to the other world
If you look at the big picture, there is almost no one who will never experience having a sick person in his or her household. Sickness, accidents, unforeseen disasters, and the death that comes from these - such events are an occasional part of life. When they occur, they can throw us into a deep pool of sadness.
A home that is spending all day and night caring for the afflicted person must be quite gloomy.
However, I believe that you should be careful to avoid looking at only the dark side of your situation.
A human being is, essentially, a soul lodged within a physical body and undergoing spiritual discipline.
Even if the body should be affected by disease and suffering, when the soul returns to the other world, it will restore to its original state.
The suffering of disease is nothing more than a part of the spiritual discipline within which the soul is engaged here on earth - this suffering will not last forever.
No matter how much it might seem that someone is trapped within a Hell of suffering, when their soul leaves their body, it will enter the state of perfect freedom.
As such, what happens after death is far, far more important than the suffering that comes when someone falls ill and is unable to recover. This is because this world is nothing more than a preparatory session in which we practice in order to return to the world beyond.
Therefore, no matter what problems you might face, it is vital that you think of those happenings and events as a positive role in the training of your soul. It is best if both sides of the equation - the caregiver and the one who is cared for - look at things in this way.
Ways of thinking for enduring all kinds of suffering and sorrow
It is not my intention to say anything cruel to someone who is worn out from looking after a sick person. Still it is within this difficult situation of having a sick person in the home that you are tested as to how warmly, cheerfully and hopeful you are able to carry on, and therefore allow your soul to shine.
You may think that the metal is screaming in pain when it is filed, but it shines afterward. Some wood also becomes shiny after being sandpapered. When the wood is rubbed over and over again with something rough, if it can feel like a human being, it should be hurt, but yet, when it passes through that period, it can become a beautiful material that shines and glistens beautifully.
Life is the same way. If you look upon sadness and suffering as a file for polishing your soul to shine, then you will be able to endure anything, no matter how much pain it might cause you.
Rather, it is in such times of sorrow that religious breakthroughs can come. It is in such times that we can seek salvation and make a quantum leap in the realm of the soul.
Therefore, we should not make excuses for our misfortunes just because someone gets sick, but be grateful for the opportunity given to us to cultivate our souls because of such illnesses, and we should cultivate our own hearts in the process.
From "How to Grasp Happiness" by Ryuho Okawa
Illness is also a chance to know true love
When someone in your household falls ill, it causes you to think about what giving, self-sacrificing, serving love really is, which I believe makes it an opportunity for you to learn what it means to have a heart dedicated to someone else.
Love is something that has "patience and tolerance" as its foundation.
It is easy to love someone when everything is going well, for example, when your husband is healthy or your wife is beautiful, but when your husband loses his job or your wife's beauty begins to fade, love becomes much more difficult practice.
The heart filled with endurance and tolerance that resolves to love someone in spite of their flaws and shortcomings, though, is the heart that makes love true.
The same holds true with those who are sick. When misfortune befalls someone in our family, with whom we have always gotten along very well, it is then important for us to patiently watch over them.
Caregiving gives families a place to "practice love"
Families that take care of the elderly might have a sense of obligation of giving returns or they might be thinking that they themselves will also be taken care of someday; either way, it is a practice of love. Perseverance is also a practice of love.
Housewives have an aspect of being the family doctor or nurse
Therefore, women should look on doctoring as part of their vocation and nursing as their role in life. They must think of these tasks as being a practice of giving love, or the work of Bodhisattvas. Viewed in this way, we can say that if somebody in the house falls sick, it is the housewife who must do her best to help the person. You may wonder why you have to go through such hardship, but the housewife is essentially in the position of handling the medical problems in the house, and she is a kind of professional.
If a doctor were to complain every time a sick person came to see him and ask why he always had to look after others, he would not stay in business very long. Similarly, if a nurse were to grumble every time she was asked to change a bandage, she would not be able to keep her job. In the same way, it is a part of the role of a housewife.
Just as a company has articles of incorporation that state what its business is, a housewife also assumes a definite role. She is responsible for raising the children, and also for looking after the health and diet of family members. What is more, when a medical problem arises in the family, she must also take on the role of doctor or nurse.
Therefore, I want you to realize that looking after the sick is part of your job; it accompanies the role of a housewife.