Dannelle speaks with @MomOfMyMom creator, Jacquelyn Revere. In this episode, Jacquelyn shares about the recent and sudden loss of her mother and how she is learning to grieve while still engaging with her social media community. Dannelle and Jacquelyn discuss the importance of creating communities for care partners, the “in flux” period we experience after our loved one passes, and finding opportunities for joy in difficult moments.
“I am saying harsh things to people that I love. I’m not showing up sometimes as the person that I wanna be. And I know it’s coming from a place of hurt, but I also am like trying to say, “look, you caused harm and it’s because you’re feeling harmed and/or in pain and/or hurt. Do what you can to rectify that, but also don’t continue shaming yourself also. That’s been like really important for me lately. Just like, giving myself as much grace as I can.” – Jacquelyn Revere
- 03:29 Jacquelyn’s recent decision about her stutter and showing up more authentically
- 7:42 Jacquelyn’s 3 core values
- 11:26 Giving yourself grace during periods of grief
- 15:49 Jacquelyn’s experience connecting with caregivers through creating social media content
- 22:16 The juxtaposition between grief and relief after a loved one dies
- 26:16 Figuring out what’s next after losing a loved one you were caring for
- 28:58 What Jacquelyn is passionate about outside of caregiving
How we respond to the difficulties and obstacles in our lives is a choice that takes time to master. Try to focus on the love and the laughter that helps us find our way forward through uncertainty.
There is no singular expression of grief. Grief is complex. We can simultaneously feel a desperate heartbreak, relief, and hopefulness about what might be next. Be kind to yourself, however you are in that moment. It allows us to stay present and intentional with the emotions we’re experiencing.
We are changed by the experience of caregiving in a way that can enrich our lives when our loved one is no longer here. Continue to reflect on what was learned from caregiving to honor ourselves and our loved ones in a way that can help others on their journey.
Grieving requires a different kind of support. Find others who understand what it’s like to lose a loved one, whether that’s someone you already know, a support group, or faith-based organization. Mom of My Mom has an amazing chronicle of what it’s like when we lose our person after caregiving that helps us feel not so alone in grief.
When you’re ready, consider reaching out to friends to connect and hold space for you as you need it. Know that it’s okay to also make time for joy as we grieve and begin a new phase of life.
- Instagram: @jacquelynjoyce, @momofmymom
- Facebook: Jacquelyn Joyce Revere, @momofmymom
- LinkedIn: Jacquelyn Joyce Revere
- Twitter: @JacquelynJoyce, @MomOfMyMom
- Youtube: @JacquelynJoyce
- Tiktok: @momofmymom
- More Information about Early Onset Alzheimers
- American Institute for Stuttering
- A study showing a link between anxiety and dementia
About Shirley Riga
Jacquelyn Joyce Revere is a television writer, director, and producer. She was born and raised in Inglewood, California. A professed theatre nerd, she studied Shakespeare at Oxford University before receiving her Bachelors and Masters in Fine Arts. After graduate school, Jacquelyn became the ambassador for AIS (The American Institute for Stuttering).
As their Ambassador, she has traveled to 3 continents connecting with other stutterers and facilitating week long improv courses. Her speaking engagements garnered her a following which quickly grew her YouTube channel dedicated to visibility and advocacy for the stuttering community.
[00:00:06] Jacquelyn: I am saying harsh things to people that I love. I’m not showing up sometimes as the person that I wanna be. And I know it’s coming from a place of hurt, but I also am like trying to say, “look, you caused harm and it’s because you’re feeling harmed and/or in pain and/or hurt. Do what you can to rectify that, but also don’t continue shaming yourself also. That’s been like really important for me lately. Just like, giving myself as much grace as I can.
[00:00:54] Dannelle (Recorded): Hello and welcome to The Caregiving Soul. The Caregiving Soul podcast is a series of conversations about what it’s like to care for loved ones in need, and how we can better navigate the relationship and the physical, emotional, and logistical complications we encounter as partners in care.
[00:01:16] I’m your host. Dannelle LeBlanc.
[00:01:21] [Music Ends]
[00:01:21] Today, we’ll be speaking with Jacquelyn Revere. Jacquelyn is a television writer, director, and producer, born and raised in Englewood, California. A professed theater nerd, she studied Shakespeare at Oxford University before receiving her bachelor’s and master’s in fine arts. After graduate school, Jacquelyn became the ambassador for the American Institute for stuttering.
[00:01:48] Jacquelyn also hosts a very popular social media community called Mom of My Mom, where she highlights how she cared for her mom, who recently passed away. Using creativity, humor, and acceptance, she shares her unique insights, most notably on TikTok and Instagram, giving followers real life, and sometimes real time shared experiences of what it’s like to care for a loved one living with dementia.
[00:02:20] Today we’ll discuss what this new phase of Jacquelyn’s life is currently looking like for her and the layered, mixed emotions of grief we feel when a caregiving journey ends.
[00:02:34] Welcome to Jacquelyn Revere!
[00:02:39] [Music Ends]
[00:02:39] Dannelle: Jacqueline! [Laughs]
[00:02:41] Jacquelyn: [Laughs]
[00:02:43] Dannelle: Welcome to The Caregiving Soul! Thank you so much for joining me.
[00:02:48] Jacquelyn: I’m so happy I’m here. Thank you for having me.
[00:02:50] Dannelle: Absolutely. Lovey, I am so glad you’re here. And I just wanna start off by thanking you for making room for this during a time in which you are grieving the loss of your mom, who died suddenly in March. So, it’s very vulnerable. It’s a surreal time. So, I just want to acknowledge and make sure to let you know that my heart is with you.
[00:03:18] Jacquelyn: Thank you so much. I am just happy that I can come here to even talk about it, you know? [Laughs]
[00:03:26] Dannelle: Well, I’m so glad that you’re here. Another thing I want to make sure to mention up front is, you create just amazing content for your YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram followers and one of the things that had come up that we were talking about before we were supposed to start recording [Laughs] was that you’re kind of in this flux, right?
[00:03:50] Jacquelyn: Mhmm.
[00:03:52] Dannelle: One of the things that you’ve been thinking about is this question about whether or not to edit out your stutter in your content and the importance of being able to now have space to think about that and how you wanna show up. Can you just speak a little bit more about that?
[00:04:10] Jacquelyn: Sure. This all kind of started when I came to the conclusion that I wanna continue making content with, with, with Mom of My Mom, we, we’ve garnered such a large supportive audience and there’s so much that I still wanna talk about and, and dissect, but then a part of me is like, “oh, I have to get in front of this camera and I have to stutter and then I have to like edit it out”. Or like sometimes I just watch people make content and all they do is sit in front of a camera and talk and I wanna do that so badly, but I just always kept myself from doing it like that without like extreme editing, just because people’s attention spans aren’t that long and social media moves so fast, and I just feel like the pace needs to be continual.
[00:05:20] But that also means that I’m creating content that’s not completely authentic, and I think that it comes across that way sometimes. Especially now that the content is driven by me. The content at first was driven by my mom and what we needed to do to make life easier for her or, whatever obstacles we had encountered caring for her. And now that, that element’s not there, it’s kind of forcing me to show up in a way that I hadn’t had time or mental space to even consider.
[00:06:10] I’m on this new journey with that even. I think I didn’t have the capacity to take my time and even figure out what my speech was in relation to taking care of my mom or like in addition to caring for her. I think all of my mental space went to her care and then like whatever side stuff that I could do for enjoyment.
[00:06:38] Now I have all this time to think about who am I, and how do I present, and show up, and still help, and even like contemplate how I feel when talking is interesting. Because we did make such authentic content, I think I still have to continue to come from an authentic place. That’s where this whole like, “I don’t feel like editing my stutters out anymore” started. Like part of the reason that I haven’t even been making as much content is I’m like, “[Sighs] I have to edit my stutters out and I have to do this”. And so, it’s been a new experience with that too, even.
[00:07:21] Dannelle: So, you’ve grown, and you are expanding what it means to show up as your authentic self, because you do, you always show up as your authentic self. What you’re doing now is you’re expanding that.
[00:07:37] Jacquelyn: Thank you.
[00:07:38] Dannelle: And naming who you are now. With that in mind, can you share for us what your three core values are and how they connect to your experience as a caregiver, a social media influencer, a daughter? And in this transition, there may be something more that hasn’t yet been defined, but what would you say your three core values are right now?
[00:08:08] Jacquelyn: They’re changing all the time, right? I still think that my number one core value is the idea of making lemonade out of lemons. Something that I just lived by while taking care of my mom, and that I’m even like trying to continue living by now, is that perspective change and choosing how we see the obstacles that arrive in our life is what will help us to continue in a forward moving pace.
[00:08:46] My second one, like right now, is to just be nice to myself. While mourning I’m realizing that I am saying harsh things to people that I love. I’m, I’m not showing up sometimes as the person that I wanna be. And I know it’s coming from a place of hurt, but I also am also like trying to say, “look, you, you caused harm and it’s because you’re feeling harmed and/or in pain, and/or hurt. Do what you can to rectify that, but also don’t continue shaming yourself also”. That’s been like really important for me lately. Just like giving myself as much grace as I can.
[00:09:47] Dannelle: Yes.
[00:09:49] Jacquelyn: Yeah. [Laughs] Right? And then my third one, which [Laughs] is something that I started learning while taking care of my mom, but I’m learning that in mourning, I need it just as much, is to like reach out. I have been sending texts to my friend circles saying, “hey, let’s hang out. Someone invite me somewhere. Let’s do something.” And me reaching out has then resulted in my schedule being too packed.
[00:10:22] Dannelle: [Laughs]
[00:10:23] Jacquelyn: And I’m just like, “okay guys, I need to stay home a week. Hold on.” But the, the act of letting them know that I’m in this new chapter where I can hang out again and I actually need to socialize and it’s better than sitting at home all day. That’s like really been important for me and it’s something that I am living by hardcore right now.
[00:10:55] Dannelle: There’s so much good stuff here. Okay so, first off, Jacquelyn, making lemonade out of lemons. Do you know what popped into my head when you were saying that is Erykah Badu’s song, “Honey”.
[00:11:08] Jacquelyn: Mhmm!
[00:11:08] The line, [Sings] “All I gotta do is add a little lemon You’re my favorite drink.”
[00:11:15] Jacquelyn: Mm-hmm
[00:11:17] Dannelle: [Sings] “Oh, you make me think. Honey, yeah.”
[00:11:22] Jacquelyn: Yeah!
[00:11:23] Dannelle: Okay.
[00:11:24] Jacquelyn: Mmm. [Laughs]
[00:11:26] Dannelle: Number two is, you talked about “being nice to myself for giving yourself, giving yourself grace”, when you say harsh things to people who you love, because you’re in pain. That connected for me when you were talking about loneliness. There is a loneliness in the pain of grief.
[00:11:50] Jacquelyn: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:11:51] Dannelle: So, in saying harsh things to people that you love, it’s like subconsciously trying to share the pain to not be so lonely in that pain.
[00:12:03] Jacquelyn: Yeah. Like It’s a subconscious way of like, making someone feel that pain too, so that you aren’t the only one hurting.
[00:12:12] Dannelle: Yes.
[00:12:14] Jacquelyn: And I don’t think that’s right. [ Laughs] But…
[00:12:16] Dannelle: But it helps to get you to the next point. So, it’s necessary. It’s not about right or wrong. The emotion itself isn’t about right or wrong. The emotion is there to alert us to something, to teach us something, to get us to pay attention to something, which is exactly what you did, because the next thing you talked about was that you reached out to your friends to say, “okay, I wanna go out, I wanna, do things”. That was a way for you to begin to address that loneliness in a more positive way after experiencing the necessary emotion that you did. That was a necessary emotion, right? It wasn’t a right or wrong. It was necessary.
[00:13:06] The other thing I love about that, for you Jacquelyn, and for people who follow you, for your friends, for this caregiving community, for people who are walking through grief, if you think about reaching out during a time of loneliness, during a time of grief, and being with family and friends, coworkers, you’re also helping to teach that when someone is going through a period of grief, it doesn’t mean that like everyone is like hush, hush all the time, or that you can’t laugh, that you stay in this place of despair 24/7, but that it’s like a whole mix of things that happen. And so, for people to witness that and learn not to be so scared.
[00:13:54] Jacquelyn: Yeah, I will, absolutely. What’s really interesting is that I ended up hanging out with one of my friends and we went to a botanical garden that day and I had laughed harder than I laughed in weeks, right? But that same night with her while we were still hanging out, I cried [Laughs] harder than I had cried in weeks.
[00:14:31] And the fact that she was even there to experience both of those with me, shows how complex this entire process really is. But like, if you can find someone who can hold space for both, that is what a really special connection builds on. I’m still smiling, but I’m still experiencing massive moments of heartache. Right? But they can coexist. You don’t need someone who is just like, “hush, hush”, but you just need someone who is there to experience the joy, but also there to just sit with you when those moments of sorrow overtake you.
[00:15:32] Dannelle: Yes. When the wave comes.
[00:15:35] Jacquelyn: Yeah.
[00:15:37] Dannelle: Yes.
[00:15:38] Jacquelyn: That’s made me appreciate her so much more even.
[00:15:43] Dannelle: What a good friend.
[00:15:45] Jacquelyn: Right. [Laughs] Absolutely.
[00:15:49] Dannelle: Jacquelyn, I wanna talk about your YouTube, your TikTok, your Instagram videos, because –
[00:15:57] Jacquelyn: We should also say my Facebook page, cause the Mom of My Mom Facebook page is at 103,000 now.
[00:16:09] Dannelle: Holy smokes.
[00:16:10] Jacquelyn: I know, I know! [Laughs]
[00:16:13] Dannelle: Cuz I pop in there every like four, six months and then I get back out. [Laughs]
[00:16:19] Jacquelyn: We grew like crazy.
[00:16:22] Dannelle: Facebook y’all, Jacquelyn’s Mom of My Mom Facebook, also. All of which offer such a relatable, humorous, and practical look into your life –
[00:16:36] Jacquelyn: Thank you.
[00:16:38] Dannelle: – caring for your mom, and now as you’re walking through this time of transition after her passing. Because of your willingness to be vulnerable in such a difficult experience, so many are drawn to your story. Like you’re talking about, over a hundred thousand followers now on Facebook and it’s even more on TikTok.
[00:17:05] Jacquelyn: Yeah, it’s crazy. Like, what?
[00:17:08] Dannelle: It’s crazy, but that’s why, because you’re real. I would love to hear about what that has been like for you to connect with so many other caregivers in such an impactful way. Golly, what’s that been like?
[00:17:28] Jacquelyn: I love it. I love it. My favorite thing is going out in public and then having someone like, look at me and then say, “you took care of your mom, right?” Or like, someone will like, stop me say, “Mom of My Mom, Mom of My Mom!” And I’m like, “yeah, yeah. Like hi!” But then what’ll happen is we’ll like stand on a sidewalk and then we’ll both end up having tears just rushing down our face. And they’ll talk about how the content has helped or like they’re caring for their loved one also.
[00:18:05] And it just becomes this moment of like, yes, this person on social media, but I switch over to like this real person and they’re this real person. And we’re having a beautiful exchange because for such a long time, I don’t know if caregivers ever felt seen. And so just knowing that, like, when someone sees me and then we chat, that’s a moment for them to feel seen, which is why I even started the page, cuz I felt invisible.
[00:18:44] So, knowing that like the purpose that the page made for me is making for others also, like it’s my favorite, it’s my favorite thing. And hanging out, like right now I’m trying to curate as many events as I can for caregivers specifically, because I get so much joy seeing caregivers receive respite. I get so much joy seeing caregivers hang out with other people who give the same care and them having stories that they can, you know, help, help each other out with, sharing information.
[00:19:25] But then on top of that too, once you care for someone, it changes you, like you have to change who you are as a person to like give the care that they need. Right? You have to let go so much up yourself in order to be what they need. And there are just so many people that don’t get that. And so, entering into the like real world after having spent years giving of myself, I don’t necessarily, I don’t identify with the general population right now. [Laughs]
[00:20:07] I guess an example of this, I had went out to eat with some friends and they’re lovely humans. Right? Smart, fantastic, genuinely kind people, but as we were leaving the establishment, there was a lady in a wheelchair and her caregiver was, was pushing her out, and my two friends were just in their world, not paying attention at all. And I held the door open for them. And they looked back and said, “we didn’t even see y’all”. And I’m like, “yeah.” They just don’t see it. They just don’t see it. And that’s actually hurtful. Right? It’s actually somewhat hurtful.
[00:21:01] Dannelle: So hurtful.
[00:21:03] Jacquelyn: I identify with care, caregivers so much right now, just because I know the pain of not feeling seen. Like they were right there, and they still were not seen.
[00:21:16] Dannelle: Wow.
[00:21:17] Jacquelyn: Yeah. And, and that’s partly also what fuels me wanting to continue doing this work, also.
[00:21:28] Dannelle: So, I can hear and because I can see you during this recording, I can see, and I can feel how you are – because the work that you’re doing, creating this content, and interacting with, literally, hundreds of thousands of people. That is, energy-wise, draining, right? Okay, but at the same time, I see your cup being refilled by the impact of helping people to be seen, helping to create a platform by which people can share with one another, what works for one another, to see one another. It’s kind of cyclical, right?
[00:22:14] Jacquelyn: Absolutely. Absolutely!
[00:22:16] Dannelle: So now you’re here, you’re in this place where, oftentimes for many of us, we may feel reluctant to share the feeling of relief that happens when our person dies. If you were to say that to someone, like you said, like outside of this space, then it would be like shock and, “oh, how could you say that? Oh my gosh, what a terrible thing to say”. Unless you’ve had that experience, then it’s understandable that you may not understand that it’s a relief. It’s not that it’s a relief that they’re gone. That’s not what the relief is about.
[00:22:55] Jacquelyn: Absolutely not.
[00:22:56] Dannelle: The relief is about the suffering being ended. The relief is about the overwhelm, the race, the marathon. It’s like, [Sighs] okay.
[00:23:08] Jacquelyn: Yeah.
[00:23:09] Dannelle: There’s some shade. Can you share what it’s like to stand in this juxtaposition between grief and relief, when a loved one passes?
[00:23:23] Jacquelyn: [Sighs] It’s such a juxtaposition. And more so for me, not more so for me, but for me, because there are moments when I’m just out in public and then my mind goes, “oh, I should head home soon”. Or, “what time it is ‘so and so’ at the house ‘til?”, And when I have that, and then I’m reminded there’s no one home, you can stay out, you can hang out.
[00:23:55] Like that’s not a moment of relief even. It’s like my mind needing to rewire, to not think about or worry about my mom. But with that is a sadness. Because when I came home, I was always like, “hey girl!” There was always this burst of like joy when she saw me, and I saw her. And there’s absolutely like this joy with being able to do whatever I want whenever I want. But it’s also replaced with this sorrow. I’m not seeing, sorry, my mom every day.
[00:24:38] It’s interesting because so much has been changing since my mom passed. Like I’ve been trying to lose the same 20 pounds since I started taking care of, of, my grandmother and my mom. Like one year prior to me moving home to take care of them, I had gotten down to my ideal weight. Within six months of moving back to care for them I had gained it back. I gained it all and like –
[00:25:11] Dannelle: [Laughs] Ugh!
[00:25:15] Jacquelyn: Right? And so, the entire six years was me just struggling to get that weight off. I would lose like five pounds here, put on 10, lose 10, put on 7 or 8.
[00:25:27] Dannelle: [Laughs]
[00:25:28] Jacquelyn: And so like, I was just yo-yoing the entire time.
[00:25:31] Dannelle: Yeah.
[00:25:31] Jacquelyn: My mom’s been gone for like three months and I’ve lost like 17 pounds. And it’s just like, was it the stress? Was I emotionally eating? So much of my life is, well not so much, but some things that I’ve wanted the entire time are just so much easier to obtain right now. And would I love to have lost that 17 pounds when my mom was here? Absolutely. But is it likely that I would have? Probably not. That’s been really interesting. And I guess like one more example – here I am with all the examples, here’s my life stories. [Laughs]
[00:26:21] Dannelle: [Laughs] Which we’re here for!
[00:26:25] Jacquelyn: But right now I’m dating also. And I was out with this guy yesterday, and he was like, “so what is it that you want?” And I looked at him and I was like, “I thought I would be taking care of my mom for years more. And so, I don’t even know what I want right now. I don’t know if I wanna get married and have a kid. I don’t know if I just wanna like date people and just kind of like figure it out again. I, I, I, don’t know.”
[00:26:53] And so that, like not knowing is also – it’s a cool type of freedom, but like I find solace in knowing that mommy wakes up at sits. I go down there at seven, take her her tea, make her something to eat. We hang out a bit. Having that set schedule was really helpful for me. And now I can literally wake up and do anything I want until I can’t. [Laughs] But luckily I have savings, and so just figuring out what I wanna do has been great, but also just a complete, a complete, like chaotic adventure also.
[00:27:41] Dannelle: It is so messy. It’s such a messy, chaotic process. I am so happy for you. I am so glad for you that you have the resources and time to pace yourself through that process.
[00:28:03] Jacquelyn: Which is it’s own moment of like shame also, right? Because I know there are so many people who are like forced to get back to work and mourn at –
[00:28:16] Dannelle: Yes.
[00:28:17] Jacquelyn: – work. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to just like, figure it out.
[00:28:24] Dannelle: And it’s not about, like, okay, so, your awareness about that is what matters. Okay? That’s what matters, is your awareness about that. Because your awareness allows you to be thankful, and to recognize that what you have is something that not everyone has. Everyone’s experience is different, all along the journey. It’s not about that comparison, right? It’s just that we recognize how hard it is for everyone in different ways.
[00:28:56] Jacquelyn: Yeah. Yes. Yes.
[00:28:58] Dannelle: Jacquelyn, outside of caregiving, what is something else that you are also passionate about?
[00:29:08] Jacquelyn: Caregivers are my life right now! I love y’all! [Laughs] Outside of caregiving, I guess, fitness and really learning the things that I can do to improve my mental health. One of the topics that we don’t talk about that is one of the like leading, leading causes for dementia is long bouts of depression and anxiety. And like, yes, we know that working out is healthy. We know that eating right and, and getting sleep, and all of that sort of stuff.
[00:29:49] But my grandmother and my mom both did not know how to emotionally regulate themselves. And I think that, you know, having long experiences of being in fight or flight, or just having your thoughts spiral you into a downward pit, over and over, and not knowing how to get yourself back up out of that, is definitely a contributing factor. And I wanna work on that as much as I can, and I wanna help other people figure out how to also. And so making sure that my mental health is like top notch is really important.
[00:30:34] Dannelle: That is amazing. I love that. I mean, that is a core way that we get through this experience is being able to regulate our emotions.
[00:29:08] Jacquelyn: Yeah.
[00:30:34] Dannelle: Because there are so many, and they’re just all in there, the whole mix, all at once. Having the tools that we need to help do that, in addition to external support resources. To be able to do that internally for ourselves is really important, cuz you can’t be in a support group setting all the time. There has to be something within us that we can rely on, as a foundation.
[00:31:17] Jacquelyn: Absolutely, but if we wanna talk like fun, something that I have realized that I love is going to music festivals and concerts. And I wanna be like in the front row every time. That’s something that I have like been spending a lot of time doing and it feels good. And I am going to do as much of it as I can.
[00:31:45] Dannelle: You know what I think we should do? I think we should meet up at a Erykah Badu concert.
[00:31:51] Jacquelyn: Absolutely abso- today! What? Yes! [Laughs]
[00:31:54] Dannelle: Let’s do it.
[00:31:56] Jacquelyn: Yes!
[00:31:56] Dannelle: Okay, y’all, we gotta sign off cuz we gotta go check out Erykah Badu’s concert calendar! [Laughs] Jacquelyn, thank you so much for joining me today on The Caregiving Soul.
[00:32:09] Jacquelyn: Absolutely. Thank you for having me. I’m so happy to just talk about this experience and share what it was. And, as I process these past six years, and put the puzzle pieces together, I hope that whatever I come up with will then help other people.
[00:32:34] Dannelle: It has, and it will continue to, I am certain.
[00:32:39] Jacquelyn: Thank you. Thank you so much.
[00:32:41] Dannelle (Recorded): Thank you for joining our conversation with Jacquelyn.
[00:32:48] Jacquelyn is such a fantastically relatable example of what it means to make lemonade out of lemons, when life throws us a curve ball. What stands out most for me is the state of grace she maintains in her heart, not by default, but by constantly looking for the creative, for the humor, and for the love lessons that exist in every difficulty. And through her presence on social media, she allows us to witness the struggle, which is so important because we can’t experience the lessons without that struggle.
[00:33:28] Jacquelyn has transformed her pre-caregiving goal of becoming a TV writer into new outlets, with the kind of expansive potential she could not have anticipated, when she gave up so much to care for her mom and grandmother. She redefined her purpose to rise to a moment. And part of that was redefining her relationship through the process of learning to care for someone with dementia by trial of fire.
[00:33:59] Losing a parent or other loved one we care for is a painful rite of passage we don’t talk a lot about, so it’s especially impactful in grief to see others walking through this kind of heartbreak. Since her mom’s sudden and jolting death earlier this year, Jacquelyn has continued to share her experience through Mom of My Mom on social media, a courageously vulnerable decision, which once again, speaks to why so many gravitate towards the community she’s created. I am so proud of her, and I know that her mom and grandmother are even more so as they watch her make something so sweet from the bitter of disappointed plans.
[00:34:49] Consider how the following actions could help address your needs as a care partner or care partners you may support:
[00:34:58] 1) How we respond to the difficulties and obstacles in our lives is a choice that takes time to master. Try to focus on the love and the laughter that helps us find our way forward through uncertainty.
[00:35:16] 2) There is no singular expression of grief. Grief is complex. We can simultaneously feel a desperate heartbreak, relief, and hopefulness about what might be next. Be kind to yourself, however you are in that moment. It allows us to stay present and intentional with the emotions we’re experiencing.
[00:35:46] 3) We are changed by the experience of caregiving in a way that can enrich our lives when our loved one is no longer here. Continue to reflect on what was learned from caregiving to honor ourselves and our loved ones in a way that can help others on their journey.
[00:36:11] 4) Grieving requires a different kind of support. Find others who understand what it’s like to lose a loved one, whether that’s someone you already know, a support group, or faith-based organization. Mom of My Mom has an amazing chronicle of what it’s like when we lose our person after caregiving that helps us feel not so alone in grief.
[00:36:42] 5) When you’re ready, consider reaching out to friends to connect and hold space for you as you need it. Know that it’s okay to also make time for joy as we grieve and begin a new phase of life.
[00:37:01] For more information on Jacquelyn and Mom of My Mom, check out our show notes.
[00:37:08] Every episode of The Caregiving Soul has a page on empoweredus.org, where you can find the extended show notes – including tips and takeaways, transcripts, and relevant resource links.
[00:37:23] If you’d like to share your own tips related to this topic or connect with us, visit the Empowered Us Contact page or reach out to us on our social channels.
[00:37:36] The Caregiving Soul is an Empowered Us Original presented by Good Days, hosted by me, Dannelle LeBlanc. If you liked this episode, be sure to rate and subscribe to this show wherever you get your podcasts.
[00:37:52] And remember, the right care includes care for you.
[00:38:03] [Music Ends]
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