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Like being a mother, when your child is born your natural mother instincts click in.  Becoming a caregiver is some what of the same, if you are truly in love with your spouse.  If you should ever have to bare the role, like becoming a mother, your natural care giving instincts click in.  Although like being a mother there are no manuals to being a caregiver, no instructions are supplied to you when you become a caregiver. 


Wow lots of emotions as well as thoughts are flowing through me, that I do not know where to start.


If you were like me you would of never liked hearing someone tell you "how strong you are, that they don't know how you do it"  in all actuality you don't want to be remembered as this HERO that took care of their sick spouse, it's not what we could of imagined where we would end up.  Also to add to the fact that if any one person was presented with the role, if truly in love they as well could do it.  I never wanted to be looked at as if I was miraculous for what I was doing, further more going through.  It was not my intention to be looked at as a inspiration to others, inside I was so tore apart, full of pain. 


If you have been a caregiver, if you are right now or know of anyone who is, I want you to understand to NOT waste what precious time left with your spouse on when the end will be.  This I've come to realise was what consumed all of such little time that I had left to truly take in all of my husband.  To just not care about the worries, to just be all there with him, to feel his love, to see maybe for just a second a smile, whether the times were painful, to just be able to suck it all in.  Although the shattered feeling we feel as we stand by watching our one truest of love getting worse, realise it's a blessing to just be happy that you have that extra day to look in to their eyes, to have them yet for another day to just love them with all that we have.


Being a caregiver is a job no one should ever have to take on, if you have then there is NOT anything you can not do in this life.  My suggestion to anyone would be to reach out to all that you can for support as well as help.  During my days of being a caregiver I realised to not try to be super woman, to let in anyone I could to help with my husband as well as myself.  Hospice played a big role in our lives, understanding how hard it is to let strangers in your life, along with trusting them to the one most important person in your life.  I'M FOREVER THANKFUL TO HOSPICE.


HOWEVER I will not ever get how a book full of pamphlets will ever help a person to realise what was in store for them soon.  this to me has struck a nerve deep in me, our society truly has no understanding how to deal with people who are about to lose a spouse.  There is not ENOUGH OF ANYTHING you could read that will ever prepare you nor anyone.  All  I want everyone to know is to NOT LET THE END OF LIFE consume there every thoughts, salvage every second, every minute, every hour of every day that you have left with your spouse.  There is not anything you will find that will help you understand.  This I will tell you, skin colour, large eye pupils as well as a crackling noise while breathing (known as death rattle) are the signs that the end is near.  As painful as this is to type, I'm here to help anyone I can, if you are reading this and know of someone or if you are the someone do not search your heart out wasting time on being able to find "what are the signs of the end of ones life".


-Skin colour-grey.

-Eye pupils almost as big as the eyes.

-Breathing-crackling noise while breathing known as the death rattle.


I type this in hopes it will help those who are desperate to find answers.  To all reading do not let fear take you over, don't waste time left with your spouse searching for answers that are never more important than just being there with your spouse. 


After being a caregiver the things you have been through stay with you, no matter how long it has been, you will still always remember like it was yesterday.  My advice is simply remember it all, leave all regrets behind, there was nothing you could of done better, if you loved them each day towards the end of their life, then that is ALL they needed, that they felt it as well as knew it.  If you are deeply submersed in the memories of the last of your spouses life, TALK ALOUD about it all to anyone, getting it out allows the pain to exit your body.  Most of all SHED all regrets, there was absolutely nothing more or wrong that you could of done.  Your love was all that was needed as well as felt.  I say this all knowing that every caregiver in some way feel regret, understanding it is for the only reason we could not save our spouse.


-Let go of regret.

-Talk as much as you can of what it is you are remembering.

-Replace that terrified feeling with feeling of love that you shared with your spouse.


Looking back I've come to realise that not to fear what will take place as your loved one takes their last breath because being able to be with them in their last moments in this world is a blessing, being able to be with them to whisper in their ear " I love you", being with them by their side as they leave this world to go in to a world of PURE LOVE is not an ending, yet another beginning to their soul.  Your loved ones may not be able to be seen no longer yet still will always be with you through the love you both have created together.


NOTE TO ALL:  Leave all questions unanswered, there will never be answers for the questions you ask.  Our body I can honestly see now will never let us take on more than we can handle.  The endless nights of no sleep, combined with all we do as a caregiver has proved to me just how much of a miracle our bodies are in this life we live.  True love truly conquers all, along with that it NEVER ENDS, not even after death.  On April 16th 2011 me and my husband were married, although together 12 years, being married for under a month, I knew what the out come would be, painful as it was I was so proud to be a bride, to be his wife, even after he left this world I still am, always will be.  So ask yourself what is the one thing that makes you proud, even though it was painful.


Tonya O


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About the Author

BLOGGER FOR ALL GRIEVING ON THE JOURNEY TO WRITING A BOOK "Spouse to Angels in the City" Widow for 11 months also mother of a beautiful little girl

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