Life as a carer - a poem

As a carer it can sometimes be difficult to articulate feelings and emotions. When a guest of ours got in touch to share a poem she had written of her experience as a carer, it got us thinking about different ways to express emotions. Here's an extract from the poem which read: 'One will need to accept that there's things one can't change, but there will be some things that one can rearrange...Go out in the garden for a breath of fresh air, or if you have faith you can say a prayer. You cannot go out on your own for a drive or a walk, but you can use the phone to have a good talk; but if you need to be careful or it's the wrong time of day, use email or text to let your thoughts ebb away. Share how you're feeling with friends you can trust, letting go of your feelings, really is a 'must".

What do you find is a comfort to you as a carer? Do the words in the poem resonate with your own experiences? We would love you to share your thoughts. Thank you!

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14 Replies

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  • I personally like to get lost in music or a good book. I enjoy being with Pete though and am aware that many struggle with caring. Who cares for the carer?

    We are lucky to have family close by so life is good. Xxxxxx

  • I agree that a good book is invaluable even though time is often a problem but music certainly helps. I have started listening to audio books when I am driving as my lovely husband is usually asleep and it makes the driving a 'me' time.

  • Hi sassy59! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, it's really great to know that you have a good support network around you.

  • It was an immensely emotional journey caring for my mum in her last few years. Love mixed with fear. Tiredness and frustration conflicting with my loving thoughts. When I was down, a little red devil sitting on one shoulder, saying "why are you putting yourself through all of this? You're exhausted. Walk away. Let someone else take on the burden". An angel on the other, reminding me of all my mother did for all of us. A poor but happy childhood, filled with so much love, laughter and caring alongside shortages and food rationing, but whatever was available, was given to us with love. And I'm sure mum had those days too when she'd happily have sold us all to a passing tinker.

    Those final moments. The devastating knowledge that she had slipped away from me forever, tinged with a sense of relief that for both of us, the struggle and difficult journey was finally over. Guilt that I even felt such a thing.

    Now I feel peaceful and remember the times I'd sit by her bed and stroke her hands as we shared cups of cocoa and old stories together. I hope I did my best. And that's my comfort.

    And those days of tired frustration? I'd have them back in a heartbeat, if I could just have her here with me again too, for one moment in time.

  • I am so sorry that you have lost your Mum. My Mum is coming to the end of her life and I know that I will miss her when she has gone even if the situation can be become frustrating at times as I also have a husband with dementia.

    I have just written a poem about spending time with a loved one which I thought that you might like as I am 100% sure that your Mum appreciated your time with her

    Time

    Time: internationally defined by invisible lines,

    so that people worldwide live parallel lives

    but with differing times.

    But most people’s lives are dictated by time:

    by the watch on their arm,

    or a clock on the wall.

    People even have phones that keep them in line,

    making sure they wake up;

    attend appointments on time.

    But those who are old do not have this fixation,

    and can spend many an hour on their own,

    in deep reflection.

    They’re not able to do what they used to do

    so life becomes boring, and hours become long,

    almost as if their time has gone wrong.

    We need to make time in our lives to help their time flow:

    becoming a person

    that they’re glad to know.

    If you’re at a distance, then send a card, or drop them a line:

    it needn’t be lengthy

    or take up much of your time.

    It will probably be read again and again,

    so the pleasure ‘twill give will not be in line

    with your use of time.

    If you live near, then call in for a while.

    look at old photos:

    to bring on a smile.

    Time is precious so use it with care:

    it can’t be refunded

    or kept for spare.

    So make time for yourself, and others too;

    climb off the treadmill;

    take time to stand still.

  • Hello to you too AliBee1- thank you for taking time to share your poem on our post. As Callendersgal said it's very touching and it conveys a really thoughtful and important message. We're really sorry to hear that you are going through a difficult time at the moment, but we hope you know that we're always here to support you, if you need us.

  • Hi. Lost Mum on the 8th September so missing her like Callendersgal

  • Another thought- provoking poem, thanks

  • Hello Callendersgal. Thank you for being so open and for sharing such a moving tribute to your mother. It's clear just how much you adored her. Caring for someone so close can be difficult but from your words alone, you did a fantastic job. All the best from us at Revitalise.

  • I am caring for my Mam too she's 87 I never dreamed I'd get this tired x

  • Hi there. Bless you! Yes caring in this way for another person is tiring and often very isolating. Be sure to take as much precious time as you can in looking after yourself too. A depressed and exhausted Carer isn’t an effective one, so never feel guilty or selfish for taking some time out whenever you can. And talk to others and try to be honest about your feelings with them so that they are aware that it’s not a simple or easy thing you are doing. You need some care too. Take any help you can get and always know that it’s a great job you are doing.

  • Hi Alibee, Thanks so much for your kind response. Your poem is lovely and very touching. It deserves to be seen by all older people, and it certainly resonates with me, who am also now entering the last phase of my life. Had you thought of maybe sending a copy off to Age UK for inclusion in its quarterly magazine 'Life'. If it were published it would certainly give us all pause to reflect about how we squander time, until it is too late to enjoy those things that really matter most of all.

    Best wishes and may this find you peaceful and well.

  • Hi. Lost Mum on 8th September so can really appreciate your feelings x

  • Dear Callendersgal

    No I had not thought of that but will do so. Thank you

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