Skip to main content

Recently Robin commented on a post that I responded to Miriam with in June... it went:

There is life after caregiving.. for many it's about reclaiming or redefining who one is after the whole process.. so much is absorbed and it can take years before we truly understand the impact it has made... for many it is regaining health... but for many it's a gifted opportunity to sit back and see all the growth they have come through - to know and understand that the whole process was a gift in the bigger scopes of their lives...

I will write more about it eventually... however, having cared for my husband, two friends, three cats, father, aunt and mother.. a 20 year stint in caregiving came to a close almost five years ago.. I was at a loss... and it has taken several years to really heal....

changing my beliefs.. the old conditioning that came from parents and society that didn't work for my parents and certainly didn't for me... letting go....

and in therapy.. thinking I was depressed, my therapist explained I was still functioning and doing things so I wasn't really depressed.. perhaps still grieving..

it was only one session but she tuned into me and found that I had been setting goals for everyone else including Empowering Caregivers and National Organization for Empowering Caregivers but I hadn't set any personal goals for myself in the past ten years... she asked me to name three things I would like to be doing by the end of the month... I was silent and out of my mouth rolled.. pottery, volunteering at a museum and going to the theater more... by the end of the month I was doing all three things...

ceramics was a huge step in reclaiming my life... my little kid inside came out to play having been the grown up ... a role I played ever since I was 5 years old trying to understand my parents and everything else...

in just 3 + years my ceramics have revealed that I am an artist and my work is selling for which I am truly grateful...

In april of this year, I decided that I needed a change... the apartment building I have been living in for 30 yrs was undergoing major restoration on the exterior.. the dust, mold, chemicals etc all aggravated and exacerbated asthma... which meant I would have to leave the apt for an extended time...

I went to visit friends in San Miguel de allende in Mexico. I had been there several times in the seventies...

Prior to taking the trip, a vision came to me and I knew I would be subletting my apt for two years until the restoration was completed.. so... August 15th I will be making a move to San Miguel de Allende...

My horoscope for last week was remarkable:

When one door closes another door opens. In the physical world, this is often due to displacement of air within the room. If you want to stop it happening, just lock all the other doors. But in the spiritual realm, the process cannot be prohibited. To close one door is to open another. Full stop. Always. Invariably. A door is now closing somewhere in your world. An era is ending. So celebrate! Another is opening. And this new door leads directly to a highly desirable destination. Don't be afraid of what's no longer sustainable. Be excited about what has to replace that. And be optimistic about what it will bring you. You'll never regret it.

I cried with overwhelm and jubilation. And one thing kept repeating itself over and over in my mind.. let go of what is no longer sustainable... how powerful these words hit me..

I am so very clear that no one... no person... no thing... no place can bring me joy, happiness, health, love, peace.. except me... no one is responsible for me but me.. I think in caring for all those in my charge... I tried to band aid so much... to help them to open to love etc. And, you know what, I was able to ... but in truth... each of us truly has to want to do it for ourselves...

I share this with you not to gloat... I thought seriously about writing it but I know for many of you that it is vitally important to know that there is life after caregiving.. its a process... an evolution.. and it also takes plenty of work... but I believe it is truly worth it... and each of us will heal in our own time as we need to...

I honor each of you on your journey... I hope I can continue to shed light at the end of the tunnel for all of us..

richest blessings
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

You put that so beautifully Gail that it made me think of a song that Nina Simone sang and I think it was entitled "A New Dawn" - "A New Day" - something like that?

I am going through the transition period after the loss of Dad. It is like a long dark tunnel... As I go through everything, shred his papers and wash the old family fry pan, I just wish I could hug him again.

The caregiving road is long and hard for so many. It is so emotionally difficult. A twenty year stint is a long time Gail - you have been an angel. I wish you the best and hope your health improves away from the big city!

Hugs, Glenda
Thank you to all of you... I can't believe I am here.. found an apartment in a wonderful area close to the center of the town.. have met incredible people and everything is falling into place more exquisitely than I could have planned for.

Today I sat at a lookout point overlooking all of SMA out to the reservoir, hot springs and mountains.. the sun was so bright... the clouds, as if they had just been painted in the sky... thinking to myself... there is just nothing you have to ever stress over again in your life... you don't have to worry about work... money ... nada.. nothing... all I need to do is to focus on complete gratitude and surrender.. for all the good that is in my life and for all the remarkable people coming forward... amen...

2 life and richest blessings to you all as well..

Thank you Robin... it's absolutely wonderful.. took an apt and they are painting and making some changes that are needed... hoping to move by the beginning of next week, the latest... wanting to get back to my ceramics... haven't created since June. and am missing it....

and want to begin with spanish lessons in the new sessions on sept 14th... what are you up to these days..

Gail, and the rest of you wonderful people.
It has been some time since I have posted or replyed on Caregivers
I read your post today and it put a big smile on my face and in my heart.
Life after caregiving is there, but, it sometimes is very hard to find.
Keep telling all those caregivers that life after is there, just keep looking
Love to all of you
Dave and Sue
Ola mi amiga.......
Well, working on my life after caregiving, I suppose is a honest answer. Since returning to the US in October, losing my mom on my birthday, I have not been able to find work. I started my own non-medical homecare business, have a website also, and been trying to speak at various Retirement Villages and Fairs. I live in Retirement haven. (heaven)
I also, to fill the void, been volunteering in a local nursing home, but havent done too much of that lately.
My son took a year off after HS and now he has just started University in PA. A school that I was to attend after HS but parents had different ideas for me. Financially we are struggling here, fingers crossed a job will come soon.
One day at a time, still trying to find my truest and deepest happiness. Life is a journey not a destination.
Hugs dear friend, and best of luck and happiness in your new home.

Besito (kisses)

seems as if we are both up in these early wee hours of the morning...Can you elaborate on non medical homecare... and what's the web site as I was involved with some New Jersey programs...speaking etc that you might want to connect with...

My sense is that while you are struggling, perhaps you might leave yourself open to something more persoanal and healing for yourself to do.. something that nurtures your soul and has nothing to do with nursing, caregiving and the elderly.. by all means continue with this as work... but you need something to nurture your own little kid inside.. another spiritual gift you have that you have not yet discovered... let your little girl out to play and have fun... to celebrate life...

it is truly a time to no longer identify with what your parents ideas for you were in the past... letting go of their conditioned beliefs instilled from within is a part of this healing time for you... its an opportunity to explore new concepts and ideas way beyond any of the caregiving...I just can't say it any different.. even with children.. it's about discovering who you are you are more than a daughter.. a wife... a mother... you are Robin...

you might want to listen to these three 20 minute tapes by Katie Byron... they have helped millions...

I think you may open to some new concepts through listening to them..

richest blessings and 2 life

Hope its ok to post my website on here. If not delete it and I will email you it.

The first page photo of my dad and I is from the article in Cooking Light.

I am focusing on nutrition and patient advocacy. Preparing meals, med minders, peace of mind visits, and being their advocate when escorting them to appts. There are 3 pages on my site, outlining my services.

Yes my dear Angel, I have been really working very hard to find what makes my inner child tick. I am not so sure I am doing very well in finding it, yet. I will be sure to check out the link, I did watch her on Oprah. Still finding it difficult to find the child Robin. I just need to keep practicing.

Love you lots mi amiga.....

[This message has been edited by angel437 (edited 09-05-2009).]

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.