The shock of seeing your handsome, fit 53 year old husband in diapers can not be put into words. I think the words I have already written are enough.
The sadness of leaving him content and happy in a strange place, so different from our home is immeasurable.
The relief of not having to worry about him twenty four hours a day, seven days a week is filled with guilt and liberation.
Our lives are easier, yet harder all at the same time. There is no going back. There are no more snuggles on our couch. No more working in the backyard together. No more birthday dinners or shopping for Christmas or playing catch. There are so many moments we didn’t have yet and even though Jim is still alive, those moments are lost forever. Yet, I cannot take the weeks or months I need to grieve. I grieve daily, but while carrying on and while overseeing his care and the kids and work and the house and the dog and life itself just keeps moving on even while I will it to stop, even for just a few moments. I never have enough time anymore.
Yes, life and the world around us will not stop for our pain, our sadness, our exhaustion. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep forging ahead, even if we don’t feel like it.
I need time but I cannot have it yet. Maybe one day. One day I will get my house cleaned the way I envision. One day I can sit with Jim and just be still and appreciate the moment. One day I can take a nap without guilt or shame. One day I can be happy again. One day….
We all know the mess that we are in. We all search in vain and struggle to find solutions. Yet we all find ourselves with the same heartache and secret relief when it is all over.
What is the solution? A cure. Only a cure. I don’t know what else could ease the burdens caregivers carry with them for years and years. Only a cure.
For now, I will just keep myself as capable as possible. I certainly am not the person I was six months ago, a year ago or 5 years ago. Now it is up to me to make sure we are all ok. But are we? Will we ever be? Can we be? I don’t know the answer, but I will certainly keep trying until I can’t anymore. I owe this to Jim. I can’t help in many ways, but I can make sure his children and myself are doing what he wanted: Living.