11) Trading the car in…..
- Grieving is unfinished work. The effort to inflate my slowly leaking spirits became more tedious and took a lot of pumping-up energy. I needed to continue on my own path with a new sense of anticipation– visualizing myself as a shiny new vehicle with no payments, a lengthy guarantee and good mileage rating! Most days I felt like an old jalopy!
If my body were a car, I would be trading it in for a newer model.
I’ve got bumps, dents, scratches & my headlights are out of focus.
My gearbox is seizing up & it takes me hours to reach maximum speed.
I overheat for no reason and every time I sneeze, cough or laugh either
- It had been too long since there was enjoyable leisure time. My responsibilities could not simply be left unattended. I wondered who the “new me” would be when I looked in the mirror at some time in the future. Another breakthrough was that I clearly understood the difference between being alone and lonely – much care giving time included feeling lonely in my marriage.
- Reciprocal affection faded, loss of intimacy, childlike behavior including tantrums, and feeling sometimes like a drudge rather than a partner were like distance markers at the side of the highway, they are predictable.
Circumstances which might feel shattering to some caregivers can be redefined as a coping mechanism which I describe as a “Temporary Assignment”. It was the only way I could muster through it all and still reserve a small corner of my own being to nurture and rejuvenate when the time was right.
- New Directions….
- I had long-thought that to enroll in a palliative care program and join the local Hospice effort would provide experience and training when Tony’s time to pass neared. There was no fear; we would still go through this together – though not under the same roof.
- My personal journey would eventually end, and I would find my own way in the months and years ahead.
It all sounds so plausible…predictable….surely I would graduate from Driver Training with flying colors!!