Missing them all -- an unexpected post-caregiving effect.
I have now been a widow for a year. I miss my husband,Coy, of course, and expect that will always be true on some level.
I don't miss making decisions for another adult, I don't miss having plans disrupted at the last minute, I don't miss managing a complicated medicine regimen, I don't miss dealing with sleepless nights, or incontinence. I don't miss worrying and worrying and worrying. It is a relief to be free of many aspects of caregiving.
In the last month or so I have started missing other aspects of caregiving, namely the people I had contact with in that role. I miss visits and email correspondence with his wonderful dementia specialist at the Mayo Clinic, and ongoing contact with his awesome sleep specialist. Both of these researchers are compassionate, caring people. I also miss his local geriatrician. I miss the kind people at the adult day health program, especially the social worker and the nurse. I miss the generous lady who picked Coy up for bowling, and the people in the golf program for people with handicaps. And I think often of the wonderful young personal care attendant who helped me so much in the last months. These people all became a part of my life because they were a part of Coy's. I miss them.
I don't miss the people from my LBD caregivers' support group, because I have continued to be a part of it.
I expected to miss Coy. I expected to feel some relief. I just never thought about missing other aspects of those 10 years I was Coy's caregiver. I am grateful to a large number of people, and I miss them now that I have room in my emotional life to think about it.