Today’s Prompt: BURDEN
The main thing that comes to mind when I hear the word “burden” is how Wayne’s parents and my parents all said over the past few decades “I don’t want to be a burden when I get old.”
I don’t know many people whose attitude is “I’m going to be a stone around the neck of my adult child as I grow more incapable and need more care.”
Yet, the problem we face is the reality of what happens as aging parents age. Either:
- They made no plans for their later years (not blaming here, just being honest), or
- The plans they did make don’t work out (the long-term care insurance they paid into so diligently turns down their claim, the “healthier” partner dies first, whatever condition assails them is so much worse than they anticipated.
That is where the “I don’t want to be a burden” crashes into all those times we adult children said something like “don’t be silly, that’s what I’m here for.”
I’m in enough caregiver groups online, left over from the three years Wayne’s dad lived with us, to be exposed daily to the candid truth of how difficult adult children’s lives are as they accept that burden.
It’s difficult, but the people in these groups (and people I know in person) accept the burden with such grace and competence it floors me. Having a place to vent doesn’t in any way detract from the grace they show, the love they share and the weight they shoulder.
If you are a caregiver struggling under the weight of the burden, I send my support. If you are not a caregiver, find one and share a word of support, Even a kind word will lighten their load, I promise you.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.