Each day, I feel the full range of human emotions.
I feel guilty. Guilty over that which I simply do not have the mental energy to accomplish. Guilty over projects and clients that have been neglected. I tell myself I am doing my best, and then I feel guilty because my best right now is really sh#*ty.
I feel anxious. Anxious knowing that there is an end but not knowing when the end will be. Yes, it will be soon, but what is soon anyway? Anxious about what will change next. Anxious about what is not getting done while I’m worrying about what’s not getting done.
I feel bitter. Seriously. People know what you go through. They may not know every detail about your life and how hard you work day in and day out to take care of your loved one, but they have some idea. But they don’t think.
I feel sad. Each day sadness for the loss that each new day brings and sadness for what can never be retrieved both weigh heavily on my spirit. I feel sad knowing that soon I will be all alone.
I feel weary. Uncertain of when the end will be, I wonder how much long I can press on. As my caregiving responsibilities change every day, I am exhausted trying to keep up.
I feel grateful. I look around at our beautiful home and reflect back on all of the wonderful moments we’ve had here with each other and our VIPs and I am filled with gratitude. Indeed, we are tremendously blessed. Who am I to deserve all of the blessings that life has to offer?
I feel at peace. I know that, no matter what the outcome, I did my best to support my grandma on this journey until the very end.
Yes, I feel all of these emotions every day—and then some—throughout my waking hours—on repeat.
No wonder caregivers, especially those going it solo, get worn out. The spiritual and emotional battle that happens in our heads and our hearts while we are caring for a loved one at the end of life is brutal.
The bottom line is this: Caregivers, everything you’re feeling right now is completely valid.
My hope and prayer for you is that you can acknowledge, sit with, and then move on from the negative emotions so you don’t get stuck there. May you remain in the comfort, joy, and peace to be found in the positive ones 🙏🏼💕