Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Journey is Over

My current caregiver journey is over. On Wednesday, October 28, at about 9:15 am my mother passed away.

During the following couple of days my brother, Joe, and I stayed in close touch about how we were doing and how the details of Mama’s service would be  handled.

One of the things Joe and I agreed about was the feeling of release, and relief, we had. The steady humm of the weight of caregiving had been going on for so long I had become unaware of the stress. When the journey ended it seemed that the worry that had been such a weight…just lifted.

It’s such a cliche to say Mama is in a better place but, considering her deteriorating condition, she’s better off and so are we. During the last few days so many folks have been kind, caring, and understanding. They’ve offered, Sorry for your loss. My answer has surprised some, This was one of those situations in which you don’t want it to happen, but you’re glad when it does.

If you are a caregiver, or you know someone who is, understand that it’s ok to have the feeling of relief. It’s natural. It’s also natural to chastise yourself, to feel a little, or a lot, guilty, for having the thought. Come back to the understanding that the thought is your body and brain’s way of supporting you; of helping you survive. You simply need to understand that sometimes your mind (you do know your brain and mind are two different things, right?) isn’t working on your best interests by kicking out guilt thoughts.

So, this is a new phase of life, for Mama and me. Multiple times each day the thought never see her again comes to mind. That’s natural, too. 

As caregivers we all know what the end is and we are never completely prepared. I can tell you from recent experience, though, it isn’t all bad.

I love you, Mama. You made the most of this part of your journey, enjoy the next.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mental boost, as I have been caring for my mother full time for the past five years. I took early retirement to be able to do this with no regrets. But in all honesty is the hardest job I have ever had. I know you and your brother do not regret the care you provided your mother and she will be in your hearts forever. As we say in the South, "Bless your hearts!".