“Life is not what it’s supposed to be. It’s what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.” – Virginia Satir

Virginia Satir (1916-1988 ) was an American author and therapist, known especially for her approach to family therapy and her pioneering work in the field of family reconstruction therapy.

I found this quotation serendipitously and it resonates with me in many ways. I know nothing of Virginia Satir other than the short bio above pulled from Wikipedia and a summary of her works there. I think if we knew more about what she espoused, we would be better humans all around.

Check her out at

Onto MY soapbox where I will expound upon caregiving of which a significant part is coping.  If you are a caregiver for a beloved family member who is undergoing the mental and physical ravages of a terminal disease, then you cope or die.  You develop coping mechanisms for yourself and maybe for others involved.  You hone those coping skills to a fine point, then you cope every day, every hour.  Tomorrow you will do it again, because you love the person you are caring for and want their quality of life to be as good as possible.

Many of the coping skills you create and retain are actually good for you.  Practicing compassion, patience, and active listening can serve you well in other parts of your life.  And in spite of what it seems, there ARE other parts of your life.  When you get a break from your caregiving duties, however short, practice your perhaps newly-found coping skills on others or maybe even yourself.  As Ms. Satir said, “…the way you cope with it is what makes the difference”.