Poem -

The Caregiver

I sit here watching you breath counting your breaths 1,2,3.... My eyes glance down I'm still on page 133. And I realize I don't know what I read; again I glance up and watch you breath
I'm here morning, noon, and night. I know your rhythm but I still check to make sure its right.
I change your bed, hold your hand, at times I even move your head. I lift you and I turn you, and at times I have to bathe you. I dread feeding times because I know you'll shake your head and not want anything. I'll give you water what little you'll take, pray you don't choke as I take a towel and sponge your face.
When your awake we talk and we laugh. Avoiding the topics that make you sad and cry. You tell me about your life and i know your confused. The year you say it is just isn't true. You tell me you don't know and you can't remember I pat your hand and smile as i say its ok and your sorrow fades.
Then the day comes when I know its coming
I smell it in the air
I try not to stare
I wonder will I be alone or
will they be there
Death is coming its in the air
Makes my belly hurt because its something that I dread
I hear them coming and know I have to leave but I'll be back before you count to 3
Here they are your family
You look at me and I smileΒ 
You'll be fine I say
But my heart beats fast because
I can't count your breaths
I can't count silently 1,2,3....
I wait for the moment to be by your side and silently watch your rhythm as you breath 1,2,3....
The job of a caregiver is never done even when your breaths are 3,2,1.
I have to make you ready for your family's last call. Β 
I hold back the tears as I get your clothes. You've already chosen what you wish to wear. I dress you and make you as presentable as can be. And hope I did a good job and you can be pleased.
I take a deep breath and pick up the phone because this is the last call I have to make to your home. I hear my voice breaking as I deliver the news: your person has died I'm so sorry for you. I hang up proud I made it through the call. I scurry around cleaning your room waiting for your family to show. It is at that time I bow my head and let the tears flow. I say a silent prayer and clean my face as I hope it don't show that I mourn the person I cared for so long.
Here they come I say silently for I know this is good bye. It won't be like last time because this time I'm not coming back. I take a deep breath, grab my bag, and head to the door. The family is there when I open the door
They look at me sadden wanting more
I tell them I'm sorry and I turn to go
Your case is now closed. I'm not supposed to mourn, I'm not the family, I'm not supposed to feel, I'm not supposed to cry;
Β I'm the caregiver I still mourn I still cry but you'll never see it because your not there when they die.

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Thank You!!!! So glad you can understand the poem. A lot of people dont.

Susan Chetcuti

I could tell this poem was written by the heart, I felt the warmth that came from you and the sadness that it brought. I'm certain that many people that helped look after a loved one can relate.Β Well written xΒ