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!