Grieving Over Life’s Sudden-ness
Today, I tried to get my grandmother to do five minutes of exercise.
I’m a hip hop dancer. Or at least, I was.
About five years ago, I sold all my stuff and moved to the Dominican Republic to work with a Christian mission organization. Within the first year, I found myself on a hip hop dance team with six young people ages 15-22. (I will NOT say how old I am, just that I’m older!) We won third place in a dance competition…performed on countless television programs…ministered anywhere from mega-churches on Sunday mornings to street corners in the middle of the night.
I watched three of the guys on the team fall in love (one of them with a girl on the team!) I watched them grow from teenagers to responsible young adults. I watched my dance teacher give her heart to God, join our team, grow tremendously in her faith, become one of my best friends, and choreograph a SPECTACULAR hip hop dance production based on the gospel.
In May 2013, I bought my ticket for North Carolina to attend a friend’s wedding. At the last minute, I decided to fly up to New York to visit my grandmother. I arrived at her house for a one-week visit on June 20.
Two months weeks later, I’m still here…to stay.
Had it not been for God, I never would have stayed. Without going into details, He has been telling me in different ways for the past year that He was moving me—I just didn’t know when and where and how. So I’m fine taking care of Grandma, even happy, because I knew that it was all in God’s perfect will.
But I miss my team.
I see their photos on Facebook—and I’m not there.
I hear about their grueling schedule and commitments—and feel guilty that I can’t help bear the load.
My heart hurts. I never got to say good-bye. I need to look them in the eye and tell them how much I love them, how much my five years with them meant to me, changed me, and prepared me for THIS. (And I need to get my stuff!)
Does anyone ever actually plan to be a caregiver? Is it always so sudden, so dramatically life-altering?
I just realized—there are two “sudden-alities”—you suddenly start; and then you suddenly stop. Both, I’m realizing, involve grieving. Grieving the life you once had, and then grieving the person you loved.
So I guess I’m in the grieving stage now. With all its challenges, I love the life that I have now. But I grieve what I had, and who I once was.
But not for long. Before you know it, I’ll be dancing again.
- I’m Sorry, Grandma. Tomorrow Will Be Better. (caregiving.com)
- Making the Right Call (caregiving.com)
- My Mama Is a Rockstarr (caregiving.com)
- Loneliness, Depression and Caregiving (caregiving.com)
- Thank You Faith Hill (caregiving.com)
- The Juggling Caregiver (caregiving.com)
- Book Review: Suddenly A Caregiver (caregiving.com)