A Burning Ember

The Touchstone Part V — The Final Chapter

Nasyim Segal
5 min readMay 12, 2022


God’s Gift Revealed

Unfortunately, Joe’s case is terminal. Amongst the heap of medical problems brought on by chronic alcoholism, Joe has a rare and rapidly progressing brain disease called Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD).

He’s still at home with us, but instead of intervention medicine we’ve transitioned him into hospice care. We now have a team of amazing nurses and chaplains who specialize in end-of-life care guiding us through this final passage.

A year and a half of caregiving and the rollercoaster of emotions has run its toll throughout our sphere of family & friends. With humility and shame, I admit to having my fair share of Jeckell & Hyde moments but have finally found effective strategies to cope with the relentless caregiving grind.

It’s true that the pain of losing my “normal” life during this lone caregiver journey was almost unbearable, but despite all of the struggles I wouldn’t change anything. I see now that God truly sent us a gift. It’s hard to imagine, but gently wrapped up in the emotional rubble of this experience was hope.

The Call for Hope

To me, hope represents trusting that there is purpose in the jumble of life’s messes. It’s the knowing that even in our greatest struggles, we can grow mentally stronger, become more integrated as a whole being, and find deep compassion for everyone — even strangers.

I can confidently now say that when fear creeps into your mind, or your faith waivers and you begin to question your ability to face the unknown — it’s the burning ember of hope that will carry you forward.

For many caregivers the inevitability of death is a constant though unwelcome friend that stares you in the face daily. It’s easy to lose purpose and feel hopeless. We sacrifice so much of our own lives for the life of someone who is disappearing in front of us. It’s almost like we’re disappearing too.

Six years ago, I had dedicated myself to learning about the human mind’s unlimited potential. I studied and eventually coached senior executives on mind tools to reduce stress and build resiliency. Reflecting upon this time, I now see that this was a…



Nasyim Segal

I’ve been an ICF executive coach, real estate broker, numerologist, caregiver, backseat driver, balloon saleswoman, pie maker…and now an amateur writer.