You're going to go on into a world whose margins and dimensions have been shattered by your loss. It's going to be hard.
And it will be harder if you don't think about it now.
You will be a widow or widower.
It's tempting to draw a line after the presumed death of your spouse, and say to yourself, "I'll think about that later."
But please think about this now...would the person you're caring for want you to have a stunted,lonely life? Would they want your remaining years to be lived as some kind of memorial to the dead?
I think you will find that the answer is a resounding no, and that part of your responsibility as a caregiver is to take care of the "you that will be".
How can you do this without feeling disloyal? I mean, collecting cruise brochures - "Yeah, I'm off to Cozumel after you croak!" - is kind of tacky. But there are things that will help you, that'll also let you keep a sense of honour:
- Check to see whether there is a bereavement group in your church, or an outreach for the recently widowed.
- Find out what kind of counseling services are available, either pastoral or through a therapist. Make an initial appointment to talk about where you are,and where you're going.
- Stay involved with your friends to the degree you can; caregiving does consume a lot of tie, but try to at lest stay in touch by email. Be prepared that some 'couple friends' will drift away after you're widowed; others remain loyal and do what they can to help.
- Don't make any unnecesary major changes for at least a year after the death of your spouse. Change is a kind of escape, but this is something you can't run away from. (There are sometimes changes you can't avoid; a sudden drop in income may require selling your residence, for example. But don't do it if you on't have to.)
- Fins an accountability partner who will, after your spouse's death, help you keep the vow to avoid major change, and who will be brave and loving enough to tell you to head for therapy when you need it.
- Try to 'travel ina group' through your life. Loneliness is particularly dangerous in the cold light of recent widowhood, and can lead to really, really bad decisions.
What suggestions do you have?
Let's ask Celine Dion to help out with the music...My Heart WIll Go On.
My #write31days posts so far are:
October 1 - Worship For Caregivers
October 2 - Talk To A Caregiver
October 3 - Create A Caregiver Haven
October 4 - A Caregiver's Raw Hope
October 5 - A Caregiver's Trust
October 6 - Caregiving For Our Country
October 7 - Caregiver, Don't Hold Too Tight
October 8 - Caregiver, You Will Find Freedom In Truth
October 9 - A Caregiving Plan?
I do ask that you be patient with my slow replies to your comments (which we treasure). I'm trying to stay caught up.
Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).
I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.
Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.