So , it’s been another month.
I’ve been in a sort of a germinating phase over the past month or so. I have stopped beating myself up about not being productive and have accepted this past couple of months as a sabbatical.
The weather has been rainy and grey for most of February and that is the best kind of weather for going within. And for reading. And for rest. And reflection. And for mourning.
I came to the realization, and this is so important for caregivers to get, that I was in a mourning phase. That I need to acknowledge my grief. My life, as I knew it, died the day I moved to Florida to take care of my dad. And this is not something to take lightly.
At first you are overwhelmed with the action items and that propels you forward. Then you are excited and hopeful about the care and better life you can give your loved one and that sustains you for a period and then you come to the realization that this is your new life. You left your career, your home, and possibly your spouse or significant other. And you don’t know how long this will last, 1 year? 20 years? If you don’t encounter some disorientation and grief, I think you are lying to yourself. It’s important to be aware of the process so you can transform that grief, have your funeral for your former self and move on. It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of exhaustion, cooking and cleaning all day and then settling in with that bottle of wine to reward yourself. Before you know it a month has gone by. Before you know it, your dreams and your life has taken a back seat.
Good thing life is like the ocean with its ebbs and flows.
Good thing nothing lasts forever.
I appreciate the way life moves us forward with challenges. They always say nothing worth having is ever easy. If you accept the challenge, as a caregiver and caregiver support, then it’s your responsibility to move through your shit. You have to approach your new life with open eyes, mind and heart. Take your time to grieve, to mourn, to feel the sadness of letting go. I’m guessing it’s good practice for when your loved one leaves this earth plane. Again, it’s a process. But don’t you stay stuck in the shit. Don’t have a pity party. Don’t be a martyr. Use your shit as fertilizer, remember I said I was in a germination phase.
My husband came to visit for Valentine’s and built me this beautiful raised garden. I’m looking forward to making dad some delicious tomato sauce and stuffed peppers when we get to harvest the fruits. For now, we tend the garden sustaining life which in turn will sustain our lives. Such a lovely metaphor for caregiving. Until next time lovelies. Now go seize the day!