We all have times of grieving, whether it’s a loss of a job, a pet or a person close to us. Caregivers have a lot of things to grieve about. When that diagnosis happens, it’s the grief for our loved one, the loss of a way of life we may have gotten used to. Our loved one may not be dead yet, but we are already on our way down the road of grief. We may have to help our loved one grieve as well, since they will know that this diagnosis may end their life. We have to grieve and still come out fighting.

I’ve had a lot of grief in my life. My parents had heart attacks and strokes before I was out of high school. By the time I was 35, both had left this world. My only brother died when I was 50. I am one of those persons who you read about in obituaries; “she was the last of her immediate family.” Sometimes just reading those words cause me incredible sadness.

When Joe was diagnosed with a brain tumor, we had been married for 21 years. For the next 16 years I was his advocate and caregiver. By the time he died, I was incredibly tired. I had grieved so much during those 16 years, loss of the husband I once knew and loss of the hopes and dreams I had for our family, that when death finally came, I had no tears. I have to admit that during those 16 years, some of those tears was for me, feeling sorry for myself due to the extreme work of taking care of Joe and working full time to support the family. This wasn’t the way my life was supposed to turn out. Yes, I had to grieve that as well.

We all have to grieve and part of that grieving is crying. We’re all told to be strong, keep the chin up, power through. No, sometimes we have to fall apart and just cry. It’s OK to cry. It’s a release of the bottled up feelings we have. This song has been playing on the radio lately and I think it’s a wonderful message. We need to cry, to process what is happening so we can go forward with our lives. I feel like crying when I hear this song, it touches my heart because it’s so close to home for me. I hope it blesses you as well.

“When We Fall Apart” by Ryan Stevenson