What happens to a caregiver after a loved one is gone?

It’s been six rough months.
I am about 180+Adrienne days into my new life as an orphan, and it’s time to do an ‘about face.’ (Play the music if you want the mood.) I got through the holidays all right, reached my birthday in February without falling apart and for the most part have sorted through the majority of my mother’s belongings. But now it’s time to move forward. Now it’s time for me to answer the question posed in my blog title:  What happens to a caregiver after a loved one is gone?

After combing the Internet for answers and talking to friends who have lost 220px-StAugustineLighthouse_StairsLookingDowntheir loved ones (including one who is a psychologist), it seems there’s no right or wrong way to go about this.  I was hoping for some guidance about time frames, some hurdles to get over or benchmarks to look for – that sort of advice. Alas! Like everything else, there’s no magic bullet. You just have to muddle through the best you can. And I’m also learning that just because you’re fine one day, doesn’t mean that grief won’t pop up years later and make you ‘surprisingly emotional.’
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Original Purpose

I’ve been bad.

I don’t mean that I’ve been ‘bad’ bad, only that in the nine months or so that I have had this blog I haven’t really achieved what I set out to do, and that is to enlighten people about what it is like to home care for an ailing parent or loved one.  I have learned so much in the past five years, and I really feel as though I have a lot of ‘down in the trenches’ wisdom to impart to others who may be traveling down this same road.

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Mom in the 1980’s

So, I’ll start at the beginning, and pretend that you, Dear Reader, are sitting right here and have never met me or my mother.

Mom and I probably talked to one another several times a week, sometimes daily and sometimes many times a day, all through my life. She lived in a house about three miles from mine, and we shared (almost) everything, but especially insights and learning, and what others would call ‘metaphysical’ or philosophical topics. She, being a Christian Scientist as well as a voracious reader, and me, being somewhat of an ‘egghead’ myself, in our case meant that we didn’t talk about movie Continue reading