These past nine months have been very difficult for me. As you know my mom was very ill and I helped my dad care for her until she passed on to glory two months ago. I find that in the last weeks I have begun to “wake up” emotionally from the emotional coma I have been in.
What I learned is that while a person is in the midst of such a painful time, emotions are set aside in many respects. They won’t stay buried forever and eventually they start rising to the surface and need to be dealt with. I confess that I have asked myself over these past months if I was teetering on the brink of depression. Since depression is defined biblically as “sorrow without hope” I decided that could not be the case because I had plenty of hope that when mom passed on she would be with the Lord forever and is now enjoying His presence!
But what of me? My hope for eternity is secure, and yet I have struggled with many of the same emotional things that one who sorrows without hope would experience. Someone accurately pointed out to me that I have nearly ALL the major life stressors that are on some chart, so it is not strange that I would be dealing with wild emotions.
The thing that has bothered me most about mom has been not so much her leaving here, but all that went up to her leaving. Watching her suffer and decline and be reduced to such a pitiful state of existence. Those memories were killing me. So, when I began “waking up” I was looking for something, someone who could help me grapple with the memories, the ache, and the absence that was in my life, and I found nothing other than the psychobabble of the world.
The way I decided to deal with this was to write about it. I hoped that by pouring my words on paper I would find comfort and more than that; that I would provide a biblical and honest look at what it means to be a part of the Sandwich Generation.
The Sandwich Generation is a term I first heard when I worked at an insurance company. The agency sold Long Term Care Insurance and provided an informational booklet on being a care giver to your parents.
When I was in the thick of it, I was looking for something or someone who I could go to that could help me make some sense of it all, and I realized that even for the Christian there are few places to go that are “safe.” I had plenty of people who intended to “help” me by feeding me Christian platitudes…telling me to trust God….cling to Jesus. All of which I was doing already! I was even chastened by people telling me to live what I know to be true!
I wanted something I did not find, so I set out to write it myself. As I began to put together all the notes, journal entries, facebook postings and emails of the past 3 years I started to find comfort and rest. As painful as the journey was and still is only two months post loss, I can see God using this new book to heal my aching heart. I can look at all of what we went though in the rear view mirror right now, because I realize that I have left the dark place of waiting and entered the place of hope and giving once again. My hope for this book is it will minister to the soul who is hurting and give them something to hold on to in the midst of the pain and difficulties of being a caregiver to someone you love more than life.
As I write “Loving Mom” I am leaving behind the season of sorrow and running toward life and…. I can see joy just around the corner.