Poem helping with healing

To the Editor:

I would like to share a poem written by my cousin, Beth Hepfer.

For nine years she lived with and cared for her parents, Bill and JoAnn Hepfer. The last seven of those years it was 24/7 duty. Although she would do it all over again, since their passing she has had difficulty adjusting to life without that responsibility.

As part of her healing process she wrote a poem that I thought might be helpful to others who might find themselves in this situation. She wrote it from the viewpoint of “the care giver left behind”. She also suggests to anyone dealing with this adjustment to contact After giving.com, a site dedicated to those who are dealing with the days after their care giving ends. — Susie Spitler

Ludlow Falls

“Going Back”

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

it’s hard to let go, but let go I must.

I took care of your needs and your many demands.

for nine years your lives were in my hands.

My life was on hold

so I could devote it to you.

I found I had strength

of which I never knew.

At times I would cry when I was alone,

I didn’t want you to hear my tears or moans.

I watched you go back

from adult to a child.

I had to be stern,

but I knew when to be mild.

I went from daughter to parent

in the blink of an eye,

And began my journey

without asking why.

“No nursing home for you!”

was the creed I lived by.

A creed that kept me going

as each year went by.

Now I must go back

from care giver to just me.

This change has been dark,

sometimes too dark to see.

But I am learning my way

as I open each new door.

It is just so hard to accept

that you don’t need me anymore.

I gave all that I had,

at times more than that.

So please tell me now –

how do I get my soul back?

Dad, you can now speak,

Mom you can now recall,

And now the roles are reversed,

and you won’t let me fall.

I love you, I miss you both

and it still hurts so bad.

But I know when I see you again

we will go back

To daughter, mom and dad.