Imagine for a moment your sitting on a blanket in front of the ocean and not only are you sitting on the blanket alone, but there is no person waiting for your return to your resort room.
Those of you who are single are thinking ” no big deal I live my life like that daily” and I honestly believe you have personal emotions about those decisions. Today though I ask you to step into the emotions of a widow or a possible soon to be widow. Emotion> a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body
Emotion. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2018, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emotion
For the widow or maybe even the widower the emotions start way before they are alone on that blanket. As Caregivers of the spouse leaving you behind the daily struggle with emotions go on and on. Emotions such as Anger, Annoyance, Abandoned, Bored, Cheerful, Trapped, Overwhelmed.
I am not speaking for every widow or widower; everyone deals with this path
in life in their own ways.
Waking up in the morning with your spouse still breathing usually causes a emotion of cheerfulness. This Odd happiness is just because you will not be alone as of this morning. If your really lucky you are able to rise first and get your thoughts together before the Caregiving begins. This emotion can and usually does lead right into annoyance if they wake up demanding or even needy. Annoyed because this person was once strong and independent and now at times you feel like a servant.
Whoever thought you would feel like a servant to this person you laid beside for years. At times that annoyance quickly turns into anger. Anger can be a dangerous emotion to face alone. I say alone because some people will not understand if you share your annoyance or your anger so you keep these emotions berried inside. You never want to end the day with regrets of what you said to the person that may or may not be breathing tomorrow.
There are days though that the caregiver faces other emotions such as being Bored, Trapped and Overwhelmed. Being bored can be solved by simply taking a nap or watching a movie, but the emotion of feeling trapped and overwhelmed causes another emotion which is guilt. If the sun is brightly shining, you really just want to leave this person inside and run away but then you get overwhelmed and feel guilty because you think about all the ways they will not be breathing when you are done running. In my case COPD causes bad cough attacks for hubby and he at times has passed out. Just the thought of knowing that could happen causes overwhelming thoughts of what others will think if you left him alone. After all the emotions have risen and subsided by the end of the day, after the home is quiet the emotion of Abandonment sneaks around. You are left watching a movie alone or cleaning up the daily messes you could not accomplish while assisting another person to successfully live another day.
In conclusion let me review that a caregiver faces several emotions alone daily, such as Anger, Annoyance, Abandoned, Bored, Cheerful, Trapped and Overwhelmed. Then a day comes when they are faced with sitting on a blanket alone with no one waiting for them in the resort room ; Having Emotions by the Water.
If you are a caregiver, God Bless you on your journey.