Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What the heck is relevant to me?

Frankly, I have had enough of the type of relevance one has as an indispensable caregiver during the relentless struggle with terminal cancer.  I pledged 'in sickness and in health' when we married.  I made good on that promise and I'm glad.  Totally worth it.  But when he died I was glad to get time off.  I don't fully appreciate how people can survive caregiving longer than my three year tour of duty, and my hat's off to them.  I know I want to hug them, help them, and tell them there is a wonderful life awaiting them when it's over.  Personally, I was sucked dry by the caregiving.  More than that, I'd had my insides turned out and scraped clean.  I had so little to give to anything or anyone else for years.  Years.  Is all grief like this?  So incapacitating?  

There is a benefit to grief.  Like Kahlil Gibran writes  "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain".   It's nice to finally feel full after feeling so empty.  I'm overflowing now.  I just want to set my course in life to reflect the lesson I've learned.
My answer to my question:  Love
It's begun with me but it won't end there.


  1. My husband was ill for three years and during the last 1-2 years, I was pretty much the solo parent of two grade school boys as well as being a caretaker. Looking back, what was really difficult was going right from caregiver to widow in one fell swoop. I was so exhausted and emotionally drained from the caregiver role, then had to deal with all the widow and grief stuff. I was thankful that it was over since it meant the suffering was over for my husband. But I don't think folks who haven't experienced being a caretaker can understand the level of exhaustion and depletion I felt months before my husband's death. It was a very surreal experience for me but what I got out of it was the firm belief that love is what we start and end with. And love is what is most important in this world. I also believe that I received this knowledge from my husband, despite his being in a coma and that the message came directly from God through my unconscious husband. Looking back, what an amazing gift!

  2. Thank you for commenting, WiTM! Yes, it was a surreal experience. Surreal in the way it broke through what we believed is real to reveal what is truly real - love, and only love. I miss my illusory cocoon of safety, hope and predictability. I'm so frightened to step out into life without my illusions!