It has been three years since Jim died and seven years since we knew he was going to die. We made many mistakes as we approached his death.
My advice to caregivers, and I know there are many, is to talk about what will likely happen to your mate. He or she will die before you and you will live beyond that day.
Talk about what they see you doing and get their permission to go on without them. Don’t ignore the situation and pretend that a miracle will happen or that you, the caregiver, may still die first – car accidents, stroke, heart attack – you know – those instant death things.
We tried to go on and did not feel strong enough to deal with the reality of the situation. We never talked about him dying and me living…..
It hurt too much to think about the possibility of losing each other and saying it out loud would make it true – a reality.
It has literally taken me three years to get to the point I thought I would be at within a few weeks or months of Jim’s death. That point is one of contentment, security, self-confidence and hope. Now that I am here, I believe that a conversation with Jim would have allowed me the freedom to get to this point a little sooner.
Grief has changed a little bit too. Instead of thinking about him during the day now – he comes in my dreams and I wake up, having had some time with him, having heard his voice again and seen him strong again – after these dreams, I end up, once again missing him so much it hurts my soul – the pain of total emptiness engulfs me – reality engulfs me……
That does not happen very often – so…
I go on now a little longer, a little happier……
I go on..
Maybe I am finally getting it together.