The above is from Mundaka Upanishad. And means this “Two birds living together, each the friend of the other, perch upon the same tree. Of these two, one eats (tastes is more appropriate) the sweet fruit of the tree, but the other simply looks on without eating.”
The classical explanation points to the individual who acts and his inner conscience which observes. I find it so relevant in the context of a Cancer Patient and the care giver. The sufferer tastes the suffering, and the caregiver observes. She can not fathom the suffering.
The patient has a license to behave erratically, get angry, show displeasure. The caregiver has to remain stoic not be perturbed. She can not show her tears, not allowed.
Why I single out Cancer is because Cancer is a long term affair, at some point both the parties involved are worn out, broken and lose patience. Slowly the sufferer and the caregiver merge into one, the dualities disappear. The suffering and the sufferer meld into one! The care giver is probably a bigger sufferer in the long run, specially if she lost the battle. 😦