Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Did I Lose My Job?

Thankfully, I have no shortage of friends, many of whom went through the whole caregiving experience before I did. They are full of good advice, for which I am eternally grateful.

Shortly after Mom died, I didn't know what to do with myself. No more emergencies, nursing home visits, assessment meetings, phone calls, doctor queries, pamper purchases, hospice evaluations, etc., etc., etc. I suddenly had lots of extra time on my hands and, instead of enjoying it, I felt at loose ends. So I complained to a buddy and can you guess what he said?

"Bob," he said. "You not only lost your mother, you lost your job!!!"

That hit me right between the eyes. I'd never before thought of my caregiving as a "job." But think about it. I didn't get paid, of course, but all the other elements of a job were present, and when they suddenly disappeared, it felt very strange to say the least. But my friend's comment cut through my confusion on this issue and helped me to make the adjustment to a post-caregiving role.

How about you?

Bob Tell
Author, "Dementia-Diary, A Caregiver's Journal"