What do I Want to do With the Rest of my Life


Remember back when family and friends asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up? It seems years ago doesn’t it? But as I near that ripe old age of 60 in April, I am asking myself what do I want to do with the rest of my life.

Is it over at 60? No, of course not; unless I let it happen. I am on a swinging door it seems of late. As Al makes his way closer to heaven’s door, I find myself questioning myself. What happens next?

When the moment arrives and Hospice makes those final words of Al’s passing, how will I be? Will I shiver as the Medical Supply Company rings my doorbell, requesting the loaned bed and accessories? Will my legs quiver, will I feel faint?

How will I react when I walk into Al’s room and he isn’t there? When the room looks void, although I will see all of his personal belongings. Will I fall to the floor and finally let those tears fall? Will I run for my bedroom and bury my head under the covers and not come out for hours?

I realize this too shall pass. This chapter will close with a soft stoke of a brush. My broken heart will begin to heal without my realizing it. Will I get up in the morning and walk my routine to Al’s room and say good morning to an empty room?

At this moment it is so scary. My sibling, my family will all be in heaven and I will remain glued to soil, waiting my turn to leave. But what about in between, what will I do? I can’t stay here locked inside my home. I just know I won’t be able to deal with it.

I have visions of taking my camera and heading to the park. I see myself taking photos of people holding hands, children laughing, birds flying, planes soaring. But what will I do next with them?

Others have gone down this road before me. There have been losses of spouses, siblings, parents, friendships, so I can do it too right? Just one foot in front of the other. A short walk to a door that I can turn the knob to open.

So why am I so scared? I guess it is because I have lost myself along the path. I forget who I was before I took on the task of being a caregiver, but I have another chance to be me. I can sit down on my couch one day and look around and ask myself, what do I want to do with the rest of my life.

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39 thoughts on “What do I Want to do With the Rest of my Life

  1. Terry, the first thing you will need to do is to allow yourself to grieve. It will be hard, and it will hurt. But if you don’t allow yourself the time to grieve, cry, whatever you need to do, it will find its own time and you won’t know what hit you. Please keep writing here, and let us be your grief support group. You’re already starting the process.

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  2. Terry, Take it one day at a time. I admit, I ask myself the same question. After dad is gone, and I can do what I want and travel when I want, what will I do and where will I go. I make mental lists of the things I want to do “later” when I don’t have to stay within a few hours of dad. Will I fly across the country? Will I ever go overseas? I don’t have unlimited funds, but I will be able to do some things. The same is true for you. You don’t have to plan the rest of your life. You can choose to do something for a day or a week or more. You can change your mind and do something different. Give yourself time to make decisions and see what happens and what opportunities present themselves to you. I am glad you remembe that you will have a life after Al is gone. You will mourn him and at the same time begin to move on. Prayers to you and Al. You have been so giving. It is good now to think of what you want next.

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      • No, you are not thinking too early. It is never too soon to consider the possibilities, but it may be too early to make decisions. You will need to consider your grief and how that affects your ability to think and plan ahead. Yes, think about what you might want to do but leave yourself open to other ideas and take it slowly as you go through the grieving process.

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      • I agree with you. I have had a few ask me what I am going to do afterwards. I always respond the same, I don’t know, I will just have to see where this takes me. Thanks for a great comment

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  3. I think that as you look through your writings and your journal, you will find that you have several books to complete.
    Terry, know that we weep with you, but we can never weep like you. We don’t know like you know what you and Al have been through. It’s okay to weep. It’s okay to morn. But, it’s amazing how life demands your attention so much so that there will be times that you will forget to hurt or morn.
    I wonder if there is something Al encouraged you to do or told you that you were good at doing. Maybe that’s what you can do as a start.
    The very first thing I recommend that you do is get some extensive sleep as soon as you can.
    May the peace of God be with you.

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    • Al used to tell me he was having fun when I took him places. He did so many new things with me when I became his guardian he had never done. For this, I will never forget that I gave him six wonderful years

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  4. I think this is something we all share. I’m about to turn 64 and I’ve been asking myself the same question. It’s a scary time of life, I think. For now … try to live in the present.

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  5. You could always start a photo blog. Fighting off depression is going to be difficult. When I’m at my worse state I force myself to shower, put on some makeup and go outside. I seem to get worse when I’m alone. I hope you find something new to enjoy for the next chapter of your life.

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  6. We all reach an age of “what, when, where and why”… I’ve had a bi-polar son all of my life…I had my Mom for 8 years… 5 at my home…and every other night for 3 at the nursing home…after retirement I asked the same thing…and now after 3 years of being retired…I’m back working…Life has a way of directing us…and for me it’s great!…I think you will find “TERRY” again… and live a rich life with so many wonderful memories…

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  7. The empty hole in the heart…. Yes, I have been there! Widowed at 28… You do get a since of emptiness… You get use to your routine! You are a strong person Terry, and you are going threw all the steps a normal person goes threw! As I read everything you write, it is as normal as feelings can be. So after all is over… and your sitting on your couch… with that hole in your heart… and wondering what to do. Remember the world is at your finger tips!

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  8. You are scared because you are at the scary point and I was scared too as i watched my brothers blood pressure drop, and his breathing slow down and finally stop.
    You will cry and then when the tears slow down you will be grateful he is out of pain and is in a new body, free to fly.
    You will feel the love of your brother even though he is wight he angel.
    What you enjoy doing has not gone away, it is just shelved for this time as you need all of your energy to deal with your emotions and the coming days as Al prepares for his journey.
    I live my life one day at a time because everything changes every day, and I do not want to miss a thing by worrying about tomorrow.
    You can do this.
    Hugs.

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  9. You will know what to do and if you follow your heart and dreams within your faith you will be ok. You will need to give it time though as grief takes time and you need to adjust slowly. We are here to help you! Hugs xx

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  10. Life, as we all know it, is completely unpredictable. There is no telling when it’ll be your last day on this planet. Rather than living in the past or visualizing the future, we must learn to live life to its fullest, right here in the present. Worries? Yes. Those things have to be planned in advance. But the small joys and laughs you encounter everyday make life worth living for. Master Oogway has famously quoted, “Yesterday is the past. Tomorrow is the future, and you don’t know what it’s got in store for you. That’s why today is called PRESENT.” 😀

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    • You know, I really needed to read your comment. It sort of snapped me back into now. I am so concerned about tomorrow that I forget about today. Thank you so very much for showing me the light

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  11. Father, may Terry cast all of her cares, anxieties, worries and concerns on You, for You affectionately and watchfully care for her, in Jesus name, amen. (1 Peter 5:7) Terry, just know that even if you don’t hear from me each day tat I am interceding in prayer for you. Love you, Sheri

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  12. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Terry. The good news is there are no limits to what you can do! Only the ones you put on yourself. I see amazing things for your future and pray that you will believe it and that God will fulfill it.

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  13. Terry, you have got so much support and good advice from your fantastic friends here – they have said everything I want to say to you.
    When my mother left me – I knew that she wanted to leave, she didn’t want to carry on any longer and for me that was a massive help in my grief. She also told me that with her leaving … it shouldn’t been hard on my eye and soul. She told me to remember her with a smile and I do. She keeps my heart warm constantly. I have cried, but I haven’t been scared … or lost in grief. And you shouldn’t be neither.
    Al will be okay where he is going – and when the time comes … is the time you have yours. There are so many things you can do .. when you is ready for it.
    Everything takes time – and we all react different to grief and lost.

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    • It’s ok, I am guilty of not commenting as much lately either. By the time I read so many it is time to care for Al again. I don’t mean to ignore you or anyone’s blogs

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  14. Terry, I don’t think it’s your nature to fall to the floor and never get up again, even if we all fall with time. I truly believe that once you’ve grieved in your own way, you’ll be back to doing something–anything–again because you are a DOer and that’s just your nature.

    Btw, we were born in the same month (!) and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were an Aries due to your go-getter personality. I also was born in a year that ended in 4 and have a scary b-day next month, although I have had many age-related crises by now! So, I’m right there with you, but roll the clock back by a couple decades. :/

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      • You totally have my vote of confidence!

        Well, I’m more private on WP due to all the weirdos (not you!), so I’ll just say I’m an Aries (earlier in April). I could have sworn you were, too. I know someone into astrology and if you’re on the border of another sign, then you’re on the cusp and pull from that sign. It says Aries goes through April 19th, so there you go. Aries are head strong and just do their own thing and do what it takes to get the job done, but we can be overbearing and stubborn. I see you as the former–the good things–in how you manage your life, take care of Al, have so many blogs, and the rest! Actually, I just read about Taurus and see you there too, but it says you are on the cusp of Aries, so a blend. You make a good manager (of everything) with either sign and it’s probably why I like you as I detest lazy people! Ha! 🙂
        xo, A

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      • From the description I can definitely see me as an Aries!!!!! I am a mixed breed of both months. Does this mean I am a mutt??? LOL

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