ARTICLES / Caregiver / After
As a caregiver, we totally commit
ourselves to caring for another person who no longer
functions as they once did in the normal scheme of life.
We move in with them or move them to us. We give up our
jobs, our own independence, and very often our family
and friends. We become so involved with the care of that
person out of love that we ourselves are removed from
normal day to day living. Our entire life revolves
around comforting and making our loved one feel loved.
We protect them at all costs. In a very real sense we
have given our life for another.... not out of
obligation but out of LOVE! The ultimate test of LOVE
for another! Then one day we wake up and our commitment
has been released to a far greater LOVE in a place of no
more pain or suffering! We grieve and then the process
of finding our way back into the world begins anew.
How do we pick up the pieces and start to live again? I
guess there is no so-called normal pattern that each of
us has to follow. It seems to come down to taking one
step at a time...some walk slower than others and some
speed their way back out into the world! Often we take
one step forward and two backwards ... it is not an easy
process but there is a life after caregiving! We just
have to look forward and find opportunities that are
once again there for us. Renew old friendships, find a
job that you feel good doing, do volunteer work (we
already know you are a caring concerned person!), find a
new or renew an old hobby.... but begin to take a few
small steps towards living again! One of the best
therapies is finding a friend you can talk to...one who
will listen and support you as you ease back into the
world! Soon you will find that life does still exist and
you are a part of it! Butterflies are still flying and
the birds are still singing. The light of another day is
showing through the clouds, and all that you gave up was
well worth it in the end! We are better than ever for
our commitment. We are forever changed in a good way....
no one can ever take that total love away from us as we
again join the world!