It seems the more we try to educate and inform family members and friends about the role of a caregiver, the less we accomplish at times…I am seeing it more clearly then ever, that those who are thrown into the roles of caregiving have many valuable lessons to learn, grow and heal from. It is a marvelous opportunity.
As many of you know, most caregivers truly have huge hearts. And it seems that so many caregivers are tested in their strength, patience, endurance, etc. While there is resistance and you may experience feelings of helplessness – somehow, the courage and strength to grow is found through the support of others and you are able to move past all the barriers set before you by going within and connecting to that higher power. Once connected, your experiences appear to flow with more ease and less effort.
After the loss of a loved one, the isolation or “insulation” as Dorothy Womack expressed, lingers on as we have become comfortable in it. In some ways, the caregiver must learn new tools for self-esteem or self-confidence to spark them on their continued journey of life. It is a challenging adjustment period to enter back in to society….one that may have been absent from their lives for so long. The transformation which comes from within catapults a former caregiver into a new way of being. When you are entering the real world once again to socialize, you might not even recognize yourself or your responses to any given situation.
Be gentle and nurturing with yourself.
Partake in grief support groups on or offline.
Set some realistic goals for yourself.
Dare to dream. Let your visions unfold.
Many former family caregivers say that the experience was so rewarding that they have gone into a Hospice as volunteers and other areas for giving and caring. I have also met so many former caregivers online, who have been so inspired through their own personal caregiving experiences, that they too, remain in a similar isolation, while committed to sharing their experiences online, for others to learn, heal and grow from. It is almost like it is a community onto itself….their purpose is to ease the role of caregiving for others, to enlighten and light a path…until the majority of the world finally understands the importance of the needs of the caregiver and their loved ones: not just the physical and financial, but their moral, their emotional and their spiritual needs and issues which must be addressed and supported.