Some words for you as you face the caregiving journey.
As you start this journey of caring it feels scary. You have never done this before, and you don’t know what the future holds. The clouds are gathering on the horizon and you feel a cold wind blowing. Everything is uncertain, and before the storm you feel weak, frail.
It is easier not to care, but you have chosen to care. You have acted, and it has cost you the life you had. A new life begins, and you don’t know how you should feel about that. You don’t know how you do feel, except you feel small and life is so big and the needs so many. You wish there was someone who understood, you wish there was someone to speak into the place you find yourself.
I have been there, fellow traveler. I walked where you now dwell and have seen the storms you weather. I have felt the lash of the storm and known the darkness of despair and a weariness that cuts to the bone beyond what all words can tell. I would give you hope for your journey. I would have you know that you don’t walk alone.
Though in the moment it feels that all you are and all you have done is meaningless, where you go has the deepest meaning.
When you feel the weight of all that caring brings, know it is better to care than to walk in the coldness of a dead heart.
When you shed a thousand tears for all the sorrow that caring brings, know it is better to have wept than to have found refuge in numbness.
When you experience the sharp pain of loss in the countless wounds of caring, know that it is better to have loved and lost than to have forsaken love for the comforts of easy living.
When the days feel too long and the cost too great, know that the greatest things cost the most.
This journey you are on is long and hard and right now you are in the dark of night. But, friend, dawn is coming. I have kept watch there in the darkening of oncoming night with my face against the window, seeing the rain and the darkness and feeling in my heart a blackness and weariness greater than the world outside could express. I felt I couldn’t go on, I couldn’t feel any more. I wanted it all to stop.
But the journey didn’t stop. The struggle went on and on. And so I went on through hardness and days that seemed they would not end. Until, one day, the first sliver of light came. Dawn broke through the darkest clouds and the heavy weight began to lift.
Are you there in darkness and despair today? Do the storm and the trial loom far greater than your frail humanity? Do you feel your face pressing against the window of your soul, and outside all you see is rain and darkness and a weight you feel you cannot bear?
Have hope. Others also walk the journey you now begin.