A well of sadness…
There is this bit in the Simpsons Movie where Bart says, “this is the worst day of my life” to which Homer responds “this is the worst day of your life, so far.” And it really sums up 2020, just when things are getting better; seemingly out of nowhere they go haywire again. The last two weeks have been hellish, multiple doctors visits, so many tears, Covid tests, blood, so much blood, just to name a few things. And so this brings me here… to a strange place, to a place where I tell you that – this life as a caregiver, while it has its joyous moments and I am grateful for everything it has afforded me, it is a life that is filled with sadness.
And it’s not that life’s not good, there are certainly very very good moments, and I’m very grateful for the opportunities, but this world I live in, is very sad. It’s almost impossibly sad, and most days I walk around with a smile on my face. But I want to be very honest with you, there is a well of sadness that exists, and I do not care to know how deep it is. And while I am a huge advocate that people care for their loved ones at home, for as long as possible, I want to make it clear that it does not come without its challenges. For Martha and I, as I have expressed many times, it is my greatest honour to care for her, but it will most likely be the saddest thing I ever do. Every moment of it is heart breaking, the first time she forgot my name, shattered my heart into a million pieces, the time she forgot hers, ground those pieces into dust. This journey is not for the faint of heart. And while I try to live in this world with grace and compassion, it is built on a foundation of sadness.
So why am I talking about how sad I am? It dawned on me recently that maybe people don’t quite understand that, while I continue to fill my life with stuff, and things, and people, and happy memories, that is the noise that keeps me sane. Earlier this year someone made an observation about how they sensed that I was in a deep amount of pain, I nodded along, yes, of course, isn’t that obvious? If you had to watch the woman who birthed you disappear slowly every single day, would you not be in pain? And that leads me to my latest revelation, I was recently asked to look at my values, I picked hope. Maybe a seemingly simple value, but it’s wrapped up in the hope that things will get better. Hope that after I have lived this life with Martha, that things will be better for me. Because when all is said and done on this journey, and the waves of grief that drench my body everyday become gentle waves that lap at the shores of my soul, maybe then, I will find my way out of the sadness that is this life, and I will be re-birthed into something a little more joyful. And that is my hope, the only thing that keeps me going, on this very sad and lonely journey.