After EXTREME Caregiving: Figuring Things Out


After EXTREME Caregiving: Figuring Things Out

shoes-346986_640Today I went on a MS walk to support my aunt, she's just a year older than I , she married my uncle and she's not only my aunt by marriage but a dear friend. On this walk I met a childhood friend of hers and on our 3 mile journey I made a true friend!

My new friend was also a caregiver to her mom who had passed 2 years ago. For us both this was a new experience to participate in a walk. Ha ha, neither of us thought we'd do this kind of thing! I live my life in "chucks" (classic Converse low-tops ) and my faves are sparkly silver ones or flip-flops and today I actually wore proper running shoes! Somebody gave them to me brand new and they were perfect. My feet did not hurt one bit! I brought scissors and customized or t-shirts on the fly.

As we walked I mentioned SIL's services next week and my new friend said they were going to scatter her mother's ashes later that day. As we walked we relayed our caregiving experiences and vented and spoke freely. Afterwards she hugged me and thanked me and said she was able to let go of so much. And I felt exactly the same. Funny how things happen that way. We have both been married to our spouses over 25 years and have kids in college. She was telling me I must continue to GET OUT THERE AND LIVE!

I am doing a lot to keep occupied. I finished converting SIL room. It wasn't a regular bedroom, kind of a bonus room I was able to close off. It was chosen for her because it had tile and her dogs could be with her. Now it's open and doesn't resemble a hospital room or even a bedroom. I've made it a craft room and there I'm able to work on her collages and separate pictures and work on all this stuff I need to do. There is still a lot of SIL in there but it doesn't feel sad. Nobody is avoiding it. SIL would be so happy. Seems even our move was the right time. Had this been the old house her room would have been closed even though she kept saying I'd better make THAT my craft room.

I hope nobody will find it disrespectful that I had to make these changes so quickly and drastically but I feel like not only am I following her wishes. We HAVE to do this to save our sanity and continue to live in the house where she passed. Make it a happy place filled with good memories. Sometimes it feels as if it's been months, not weeks since she passed. Still one week until her services and it seems forever has gone by. I signed up for summer school (all online) and will finish my AA on time for transfer to state college where I'm hoping it will just be a semester off instead of a year.

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It is a real joy to see you honoring your SIL life with more life. I just can't imagine (well, I can imagine but I don't want to) anyone not respecting your family's wishes in how you chose to grieve or live. I am happy for you that you are finding meaning and peace and joy in your lives. Your SIL wanted all those things for you. Thinking of you as you approach her service.


I think it's great what you've done with her room. It's what she wanted and we all grieve in different ways. If I had it my way Grandpa's room would have been a shrine but that's just me. :)

Lillie Fuller

I'm happy to see you are moving on.... going forward. Not changing things would be standing still and holding on. I can appreciate the change you are making. I hope that one day I will be able to do that very thing.