As I sit here and write tonight, I am listening to several tracks by Ed Sheeran. Music speaks to my soul. I have not had the words to share what has been happening in our lives as of late. It is time though to share with you some of the changes that have been taking place in our world.
The song I am listening to is “Photograph” some of the lyrics are “loving can hurt sometimes… and wait for me to come home…” Those lyrics all hit incredibly deep! As much as I hold onto the old John and desperately want him back, I am reminded daily that he is gone. While I have worked through much of the grief in essentially “losing” him, I still go back there from time to time. I look into his eyes, but he is not there. I mention little inside jokes, but he does not recollect them. I ask him to hold me, he pouts. I am here, he is not. That brings me to tonight’s blog. What I need as well as many caregivers and well spouses.
I need love. I need affection. I need laughter. I need touch. I need to feel.
I understand, it can be awkward to be around us. Our life is filled with devastation and with a grown man that behaves as a child and is often inappropriate; but, I am still here. Now that caregivers come in to help take care of John so that I can go to school, I am finding myself again. I am finding the person that I used to be before walking away to take care of my husband as my only purpose in life. As I am going through this process, that pain resurfaces. The pain from not being able to share in these experiences with him. The pain from although being in a home with my husband of 13 years, being alone and feeling so empty at times that I just beg for him to rub my back at night, just to feel the touch of another human being. This is hard to share, but I am sure I am not alone in this. I am sure there are people out there that experience this empty feeling even if they do not have an injured or ill partner.
The change is that I can accept it and understand and not fight the pain. I allow the pain to come, but then I also move past it, as though it is a memory that is fading. There are so many parts of who “we” were that are fading with the passing time. I am a parent not a lover. I am a caretaker not a spouse. It does not mean I love him any less, but just in a different way.
So what do I do? How can these needs be met? This is where you all come into play in the lives of people like me that have experiences loss, pain, loneliness. We need YOUR love, affection, touch, jokes, your troubles, your worries. We need to feel human and normal again.
It is amazing how the Lord works! Through the process of me going back to school for my psychology degree, HE has put some amazing people into my life! I was thinking the other day, what if John’s brain injury never happened? Where would we be in the stages of life? Then it hit me. I would never know one of my best friends nor share in her life with her blooming family. I would have never enjoyed the laughter of another fellow student and friend as we laugh at my studying abilities (or lack thereof –squirrel). I would never have met another friend that shares in deep conversations and always has a hug for me. God is meeting my needs despite the hell I am walking through.
I want to encourage all that read this to be a vessel. Share your love, affection, laughter, worries, and life with those that are in your life. When is the last time you just went up to one of your friends and hugged them like a grizzly bear? Although, if I could turn back time and not have had my husband have his injury, I also embrace the good that God has allowed to come out of it! It is amazing how an hour of laughter or a hug can help me get through some of the hardest days. Be that for someone in your life! It will fill their heart and your heart too!
At one point in my journal I had cried out to God that I was lonely, that I needed these things, but that I would be content with where He had me. He has started to answer my prayers and He is there to listen and answer yours too!
Photograph by Ed Sheeran