We all know that Christmas isn't the merry, happy family time it's portrayed to be in the ads, but it's hard not to get convinced that it should be, when it's constantly played into our eyes and ears. The fact is that many of us have heavy burdens of care, sad memories to overcome, are depressed generally, or are all alone over what's termed 'the festive season'. Small wonder then, that carers tend to feel extra low at this time of year.
It's quite hard to talk about, but what happens when, eventually, your caring comes to an end? It's hard because most often, our burden is lifted by the death of someone we loved very much, so with that release comes not only loss, but with it, relief and some guilt too. Relief that suffering is over, and life can move forward, but guilt at that feeling of relief or that you somehow could or should have done more for your loved one.
But a few days ago I spoke to a lovely 80 year old lady, whilst taking a short cruise across the channel to European Christmas markets. She'd cared for her late husband for ten years and admitted that it had been the most difficult job she'd ever had to undertake. We discussed this Care Community and she was so sorry she'd never heard of it, not being very computer literate, feeling it would have been a great support.
Her husband had died six months previously. She'd grieved of course, and was still grieving, but had taken a deliberate decision to have some dedicated 'me' time, hence the cruise, and said she was beginning to really enjoy life again. I then met a slightly younger lady who'd also cared for a husband, and who now had met a new partner and was starting a new relationship.
So I suppose my message is, that although at points in our lives we can seem to be endlessly stuck, with little ever to look forward to again, nothing stays the same for ever, and life will continue to move on and change. We constantly have to change and adapt and somehow, eventually, we get through our trials and tribulations and reach a brighter time in life, even if that is tinged with sorrows from the past.
I hope you all manage to stay strong through these dark winter days and your challenging times, and enjoy as much of the Christmas spirit as you are able to.
Love and best wishes to you all and seasons greetings. X