Author Topic: Caregiving grief  (Read 1638 times)

arthur

  • nospam
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 298
  • ((Maureen))
    • View Profile
Caregiving grief
« on: November 10, 2011, 09:35:21 PM »
I want to say something I've been carrying around since Maureen's death..its something I've become gradually aware of as I work through my grief for
my dear Maureen. I didn't want to bring it up because it seems so widely misunderstood even by people who are going through grief of their own, especially if they never had to caregive for someone for extended lengths of time. Tonight was the last straw.  I tried to say something about it in my grief group tonight..and was ignored. Sorry if anyone doesn't want to hear this, but this is my grief, and if you don't want to listen, feel free to ignore me.
My wife had a disability. Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Maureen couldn't have kids because of it, but I didn't care, I loved her so much.  Maureen needed alot of caregiving during our marriage, our entire marriage in fact. It was a struggle and I won't lie, the disability put a strain on our marriage.  But we hung on because we loved each other. Because of the amount of caregiving my wife needed, my committment to her in our marriage was also a committment to take care of her needs. Moreover, I had promised her father on his deathbed that I would take care of her. My life was loving my wife and taking care of her. That was my purpose.
Now that Maureen has died, not only am I grieving my wife..I have encountered an identity crisis in my life. What do I do now?  Who am I?  Working my job seems such a shallow answer to what I did before;  I worked my job in addition to taking care of Maureen while she was alive.  But its my only profession now.   I have difficulty going to work somedays, it has become so meaningless to me.  Also I guess I still hold myself responsible for my wife's death somewhere in my heart..even though I know in my mind that I am not.  After all she died in my care, after I had promised her father I would take care of her.  This deep buried grief seems to rear its head more frequently of late for me amid my other grief of Maureen's death. It really seems to make things worse than they seem to be.  I've tried to pretend as I am not experiencing this grief to accomodate the people I encounter who all too frequently don't understand. Sorry, I sick of accomodating. This is a reality for me.  I am just wondering if anyone else in this world can understand what it is I am speaking of. I am wondering if anyone here understands...I am sick of being seperated from everyone I know because I caregived for the woman I love.  People in my grief group look at me with a pitying look in their eyes when I try to explain myself.
I have to ask myself..would they do anything less if it was their loved one who was disabled?  WHy is it so hard for people to put themselves in someone  elses shoes? 













oneangel

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
    • View Profile
Re: Caregiving grief
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2011, 10:04:06 PM »
Before my husband was diagnosed with cancer in March 2009, he had had emergency open heart surgery in March 2005. His aortic valve had dissected and he nearly died that night. From then on, he never fully recovered and was limited to the things he was able to do, physically. I had to start shovelling the snow, carrying heavier items and so on.  I also became the only bread winner in the family. He was on medication everyday too. My husband wasn't as ill as your wife but he was limited. When he wound up having cancer, he became very weak and sick with the Chemo so I pretty much did everything. I did stop working though. Both times, in 2005 and 2009, I was pregnant. He had such guilt because he felt like almost our entire marriage, I took care of him and the kids, we were married in 2000. I of course didn't mind or even care about that. That was our situation and I was more than happy to pick up the pieces and carry on. After he died, I too was left with the feeling: 'What now?' I know I still had a newborn baby to take care of and two other kids to get to school, but this huge chunk was missing. I never really talked about it, but I guess I didn't feel the need to, maybe because I was still busy with the kids, so I understand how your situation would be worse than mine because you were just left to take care of yourself. I really missed though having him to take care of as well. I was proud to be able to do anything that needed to get done so long as I had him here with me, I didn't care about the amount responsibility it took to do so.
People don't really want to hear the extras I find, they just want to know that you are moving on and that the past is the past is what I have experienced. It is normal what you are feeling about figuring out what is your purpose now. And don't apologize, ever, for your feelings. They are real and justified, no matter what everybody else thinks.

jasonkl

  • nospam
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 485
    • View Profile
Re: Caregiving grief
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2011, 11:02:58 PM »
arthur
My wife was not disabled for all of our marrage. She got hurt about 4 years ago at work. At first she was recovering fine, well she was lieing about the pain. She tried to go back to work. She couldn't do it. I spent the last 3 years taking care of my wife and everything else. Three months ago there wasn't enough time in the day to get everything done. Now it seems all I have is time.

You don't have to hold back here. I/we will listen to anythig you have to say. Angela said it beter than I could have.
And don't apologize, ever, for your feelings. They are real and justified, no matter what everybody else thinks.

jason

arthur

  • nospam
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 298
  • ((Maureen))
    • View Profile
Re: Caregiving grief
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2011, 09:04:42 PM »
Thanks angela & Jason for putting up with my rant..all I can say is I get so focused on my own misery that I forget what I say and who I say it to. The last people who I should be venting on are the people here who are going through their own misery, especially you two. I really do appreciate your responses which you made despite your own misery.  I know both of you and many others here have had to caregive for their spouse as well as take care of your kids while grieving. I've never had to do both of those things,and I don't think I could imagine how difficult that is.
I guess I still do feel responsible  for my wifes death despite the knowledge that I could'nt have done anything to prevent it.  It was my role to look after my wife..and she died while I shoudl've been taking care of her. Instead I was at work. Maybe thats why I find my job so empty. I don't know. Thx again for putting up with me. arthur

jasonkl

  • nospam
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 485
    • View Profile
Re: Caregiving grief
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2011, 08:23:17 PM »
Arthur

Thanks angela & Jason for putting up with my rant..all I can say is I get so focused on my own misery that I forget what I say and who I say it to. The last people who I should be venting on are the people here who are going through their own misery, especially you two.


Thats what we are here for to listen and vent ourselves. You can say anything you want or need to me. You have listened to me rant. You have listened to my pain.  I'm pretty sure this is how we heal or at least part of how we heal. We may never fully heal, but from what I have read here. You do learn to cope.

 
I guess I still do feel responsible  for my wifes death despite the knowledge that I could'nt have done anything to prevent it.  It was my role to look after my wife..and she died while I shoudl've been taking care of her.

This I understand all to well. I am in the same place. Trying to work my out of this place.



Jason
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 09:19:12 PM by jasonkl »