Why is caregiving hard?
Because as you try to be a light to your grandparent or parent, inside you are grieving.
- You are grieving the decline you see right before you.
- You’re grieving the future when your loved one will no longer sit beside you.
- You’re grieving the pain they are experiencing physically as their body struggles to keep up with things we take for granted.
- You’re grieving the emotions that peek out in their difficult moments. The kind that once could be masked, but now are can no longer be hidden.
Right around this time 4 few years ago, when the holiday beat was rising and the trees were lighting up one after another in the neighborhood, I found myself struggling.
…struggling to buckle my kids into the car.
…struggling to figure out what to do next.
…struggling because while my kids and nephews and nieces were cheerfully decorating snow flakes in my grandma’s new space, I was grieving.
When my grandma fell that December a few years ago, it didn’t take long for me to know that her fall was the beginning. And though I had always known what was going to happen, my heart struggled to meet that reality. The reality that she would not always be with me, though she had been with me for over three decades.
Have you been in that place when you know what’s coming, but you so wish and hope it wouldn’t come to pass?
Grief is something that happens not only when someone dies, but when we know the loss is coming. If you’re finding that each step, decision, or movement is hard as you visit, care, or even chat with an aging parent or grandparent, take a deep breath. Caregiving is hard. Why?
Because your body is not the only part that gets weary when you’re caregiving. Your heart grows weary too.
Sending a prayer this morning to those of you who can get the daily done, but inside find yourself grieving. I know the feeling. You are not in this alone.
For more encouragement in your caregiving journey, follow The Value of Wrinkles podcast and pick up my book, The Value of Wrinkles: A Young Perspective on How Loving the Old Will Change Your Life.