This is for the “In Law Caretakers”

2015-12-29 12.56.31.jpgThe real family wants the stuff when she gone and that’s fine.  Those artifacts where a part of their childhood memories, relics of their life.  I sometimes just hope I can keep a pair of socks; the hospital socks with the grips we keep after every time she has a hospital stay.  Maybe I’ll wear them and think of her, but I won’t.  She has a foot fungus and I think no matter how many washes I’ll always be a little sceeved.  But that’s the intimacy I shared with her that some of her family did not.  And that’s good.  I’m lucky.

Perhaps when she’s ill and you need to take time off your principal or boss will say:  “Well, she’s not your grandmother.”  (This actually happened to a friend of mine when she needed time off for her fiancee’s father’s funeral!)

When you say:  “She’s getting tired and should head home,” and a family members says: “She doesn’t look tired,” and this dig matters because it’s about her health and well-being, not only personally insulting in its distrust and wrong.

Maybe a well intentioned spouse will tell you that this isn’t really your job and that will ache painfully because you know how much whatever amount of help you’ve been able to give means to you.

When they are gone you will feel loss and tell yourself it’s not the same magnitude.  But it will suck.  And you might feel a duty to submerge it and help the people you feel are hurting more.

I hope when that times comes others will understand better than I the magnitude of my grief.  I hope they will help me understand that my job is to be comforted as well as a comfort to others.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. This is very touching and hits the nail on the head for many caregivers. When a caregiver isn’t family or isn’t the spouse, people don’t always recognize the caregiver’s grief when the person passes. It’s called disenfranchised grief; grief can be just as painful for the non-related caregiver but the support is often lacking. I know how that neglect of your feelings adds to the mourning.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, thank you very much. I didn’t know it had a name but it certainly fits! Thank you for your support!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lbeth1950 says:

    You are both so blessed to have this relationship.


    1. And I’m doubly blessed to know it. I’m very thankful.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Jaymie says:

    I know the ache and I cannot figure out a way to shield myself from, in my case, the slow grief. I am grieved by the process and by the realization that some of us are caretakers and invest more heavily regardless of bloodlines. You are correct that we get to carry the full experience forward. I’m thankful for the depth of the life offered and to find that there are other people that understand. Peace to your heart for the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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