There is a quote by Winnie the Pooh that I love…”How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Being a Caregiver means that you are faced with the idea of losing someone you love on a daily basis. You are forced to grieve before you should and you are expected to carry on business as usual. Everyone looks to you for answers. You are not just a Caregiver. Now you are an accountant, a proxy, an insurance expert, a friend, a sounding board and if you weren’t a mother before, in essence you are now. You are facing the hardest battle of your life and I wish to take nothing away from you.
Some Caregivers are supporting family they barely knew, or they did but wish they hadn’t. That is the truth of death. When facing it, some times it’s the very people you pushed away in life that wind up guiding you through the end of it. Other Caregivers are caring for people they truly love. How lucky are they? A sad fact of this world is that some live their entire life without receiving true love from others. There are children that have never known their parents. Children that have been bounced around foster homes and shelters. There are adults that have never been fortunate enough to have a friend that they felt was their soul mate. Men and women who were never lucky enough to meet their “other half”. There are people, who you walk past on a daily basis, for whom “alone” is an absolute with no foreseeable way out.
Losing my mother was the most terrible pain I have ever felt. It felt like a part of me had been ripped out. After she passed, I didn’t think it was possible to ever be truly happy again. 7 years later, I still have days where I feel like that. But how lucky was I?? How lucky was I to be born to a woman as amazing as she? How lucky was I to be raised by a woman who loved me and supported me? And how lucky was I to have someone in my corner that would have traveled to the ends of the Earth for me?
Was our journey at the end of her life painful? Devastating? Absolutely. But I was one of the lucky ones, and so are you. If saying goodbye is hard then you are more blessed than you believe in this moment. Take a moment to really think about that today. Sit with your loved one and realize it is because of how hard they loved you that this is so difficult. Hug them, kiss them, and thank them. They took care of you perfectly. Now it is your turn…