Hello KIRC family!
I would like to say thank you for coming along on this journey. For anyone who is (or about to become) a family caregiver, we know the path can sometimes be rocky. Just knowing there are others going through this can help. We must always remember we are not alone.
I have to take my own advice and trust that my new KIRC family can offer up some input. I’d like to share a recent dream - or rather nightmare, which left me a bit shaken.
It has me questioning, 'Is the emotional stress, angst and many times fear that was such a daily part of the caregiving journey lingering in my system? And if so, how long might this continue and how will it manifest?'
I recently woke myself up and out from a disturbing nightmare. It felt like I was trying to scream, but what came out were just whimpers.
My subconscious set the scene:
Many of you who have already said goodbye to your mothers shared that for this past Mother’s Day, you were planning to visit a grave site and/or leave flowers.
This past weekend I made a trip to the cemetery to visit my mom and dad. It did my heart good to put some flowers down and tell my parents that I missed them. Many days it still doesn’t feel as if Miss Nellie is gone.
I have yet to finish clearing items from her bedroom closet.
There are stacks of boxes in the garage - her belongings - I have yet to touch.
Her favorite Dove Body Wash liquid soaps remain in the bathroom cabinet.
These are little things but all are reminders of her, and of the years of heavy-duty caregiving I experienced.
Was the overwhelming fear and sense of helplessness I felt in that dream a form of caregiving PTSD? I suppose I can't know for certain.
But what I do know is that the journey of caring for an aging and declining parent takes something out of you. It changes you. And even once you move through it, the emotions do not quickly fade.
Any advice or guidance you would like to share for me? I would love to hear from you or if you have had a similar experience.
In the meantime I suggest this: let's all cut ourselves some slack. In those moments when we are feeling overwhelmed, sad, lost, confused or a combination of 'I don't know what I feel feelings,' let's just be kind to ourselves. Deal?
Until next time~