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When a caretaker needs to take care of himself and let others take over.
Perhaps only having experienced the tempest journey one arrives at that destination -- "I can't do this anymore".
Initially it's an emotional evisceration, an amputation as well. You're paralyzed as you and yours sink into drowning. For there's no more surface above which the other breathes reality and rationality and thus to whom you can cling.
Perhaps only the scabbing (or neuro-degensis) of the wound is the salvation. And early in the storm, to not feel utter anguish and abandonment and terror would have been but callousness, inconsideration of the meaning and value and shared being of another. Even in the minor matters of relationship one can experience such cuts, such lacerations. even a tactile hunger untouched or intended offering of self seemed spurned . . .
Thus I've felt, perhaps all feel, for in relationships there are the two who are not conceptual (or emotional or sexual clones).
Early and during, perhaps diminishing, the other as the aspect oneself is like a note in a chord of emotion. But there may have to come the time when the "harmonic" has distorted or become totally atonal, that one's individuality has to continue as a solo. The "I can't do this" has to be compartmentalized. Just what are the specifics of the "this" that one has been doing?
If strictly the logistics, in most cases in worst cases the caretaker can have at least respite through volunteers parts of days. Or, through agencies or privately, the loved one can be housed where the facility is set up for a sort of "industrial-process" of the demented. But so much it seems to be the anguish of still loving as part of oneself that which is no longer loveable or, other than subjectively, retro-projectively, part of oneself.
Thus the necessity I found to be primarily ME. Not autonomous. Not to block out or diminish another, the other. But that I had to be the priority and thus infuse and suffuse myself sith a universe of meaning and feeling and even physical communion (tactile, visual, auditory, probably extrasensory too) not obtained from the other specific person.
Early, I had to let go what I needed and wanted and expected. For it wasn't available from her. Never did I let go the intention and attempt to reach whatever was there. But we had a lifetime ahead for voyaging such unknown realms of potential, of possibility. This isn't the case at the end-times (even early-onset) of Alzheimer's and other devastations.
Especially then, perhaps "preemptive letting-go" should be the realization and procedure. One should prioritize as if the other is not and perhaps even including had not been -- in order to maximize the self of the one who remains a whole self (unless sensing severance from the other). It's almost a case of realizing that even healthy, normal marital relationships involve a co-dependency, And that only has a time-span at best.
So from my experience, and to provide same to another, I've focused on each as a whole. Neither should try to become "part of". It's beyond that point of life live (already) and left.
But, though one should be able to let go, to not do "this" any more, the life lived at least up to . . . . should be mined for even the few gems, should be harvested for what nutriments of interest and involvement were grown and given birth and travelled and even travailed.
The only realms to be held on to, to not be let go of: what was an epic experience as if one looks back on life as if a novel read or musical stage production attended. . .. . but to realize that whatever has been one's life, whatever one has had to let go from the cast and cause . . . . . the role one played continues on.
Even if, at a point, it is that one's mind on which the curtain closes
And "can't do this any more" involves awareness now of self . . . . . .