So, do you find your “new” self or go looking for the “old” model who had a pretty good life before the illness and care giving took over?
Maybe you don’t have a choice because the “old” you is long gone. The cancer erased what was there, replaced you with a care giving you, and now that the caregiver is gone, what’s left is a blank slate. Oh, there’s still a few signs of the “old” you rattling around. Those are the parts that your work friends see because you want to appear strong and able to handle the grief. So when some one asks “How ya doing”” you can say “OK” and sell the response. But “OK” to you and “OK” to them means two different things.
“OK” means, I can get through today until I can’t and hopefully that will be when I’m home and can deal with this in the privacy of my own space.
I speak from experience, when I say time does cushion these feelings. It’s not the perfect salve and there are still plenty of sad days and lonely days and they come at the oddest times, but time teaches us to deal with them differently.
Finding the “new” you; that’s a different story. It’s a hard job and when you look around to find some help, there’s not a lot of out-stretched arms. We’re all pretty much on our own. We take what we can from the remnants of the “old” us and start to rebuild.
First step: Remember what it felt like… to just smile?