Someone left a comment on another blog post that resonated with me.
She was in the hospital, sitting next to her 94-year-old mother, exhausted and unsure. She commented that she felt guilty just asking for 1 day of respite, at this time when her mother so desperately needs her by her side.
I had the same thoughts.
Two days before my mother passed I recorded myself saying that I just needed a break. Obviously I was not expecting my mother to pass so suddenly but, Since that moment I've felt tremendous guilt for ever uttering those words but you know what...These feelings are valid.
Care is a marathon, not a sprint and at the 26th mile, we just need a break and more often than not, there is no one to relieve us to help finish the race.
I have to remind myself of this.
Caregivers are often doing the job of at least 3 people. We are loaded with the emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and practical daily care of another person which leaves very little time for us to live in our world.
Until we create a world where care is seen as a community task then Caregivers will have these moments, unfortunately. But the guilt is not yours to carry. It's the COMMUNITY, FAMILY, and POLICY that let you down, this is their guilt to hold and come to grips with within themselves. The beautiful thing about Caregiving is it will touch every soul before they leave this earth, and everyone will reckon with, if and how they failed to show up for the ones they love.
I feel your pain, exhaustion, and your hurt and I'm here to tell you that you deserve that day off.