For most of us care-giving is not only part of our culture but our religion also. We are born with the overwhelming feeling; to take care, to support and to protect, no matter what. Some of us are destined to do more than others in our personal lives, with friends, relatives or family. Some of us take up care-giving as a profession and dedicate their whole life towards it.
Years pass by as one takes care of a family member who is terminally ill; emotional drainage, physical exhaustion and monetary strain create an imbalance in the caregiver’s life. All along hoping against hope that everything will return to as it was.
One day we stand; tears flowing endlessly, emotions hay wired. Months and months of our life revolving around only that one person, who is no more among us…and we cry, and we cry. But our tears are not for the departed soul, they are for us.
I stand above the silent body and cry for myself because I am left alone.
This person was all I cared about and all I had.
This person’s well-being was all what I thought about.
My life revolved around the person who is no more.
Here the emptiness within the caregiver requires care, when the caregiver is drained out of every feeling and becomes a receiver, willingly or unwillingly. It is the time when the caregiver needs the support of friends and family, of people who have gone through the same. Not only do others need to step up but the caregiver also needs to understand that he has become a receiver and he needs to heal and let the healing process start. Some of us resist care because we are so used to giving and being a caregiver; that switching into another role seems difficult for us. But as soon as we realise that we can move into a stable state of mind and body by letting go and handing the duties of care-giving to someone else, the better it is for us.
Healing, is a process that may take months or years. Our smiles may return but our hearts are sad and injured. This process can never be a forced stage. The griever needs ample amount of time and understanding; to come out of the sadness. Especially because now that the person he/she was taking care of is no more, the one-time caregiver has nothing to do. This person finds life empty and meaningless.
At such a time not only does our mental state of mind matter but also our physical being. Even when we allow ourselves to be taken care of, we can only come out of the grief and depressive state of mind when we step up and take control. We are our own strength and energy and we owe it to our self to return to life.
“Every need brings what’s needed.
Pain bears its cure like a child.
Having nothing produces provisions.
Ask a difficult question,
And the marvelous answer appears.”
For those grieving, can take their time but always keep in mind that is okay to be cared and it is okay to let yourself heal through personal effort and through those who have become your caregivers. Let the emptiness thereafter become the question that has many a marvelous answers.