At the end of this 18-month period, I've now completed the two most important jobs of my life. I've cared for my mother during her final months, and I've written a book about that experience - and about the the experience of growing up with (then undiagnosed) autism.
With mum's passing, there's no one left. My brother - my closest-living blood relative - might as well be a stranger I've never met. I've honoured mum's memory in words... and there's not much else I can do.
I live alone, with my cat. I work with autistic people.
Apart from that, I go through the motions of a life. I pay the bills, I eat, I sleep, I get up in the morning and go to work, I come home, I watch a movie, I go to bed... I start again.
I'll be 60 next year. Life has largely passed me by. I don't really have anything left to do. I don't want to travel any more. I don't have anything I'm burning to learn. I don't have anything left. If it wasn't for Daisy, my cat, I'd probably take myself out of the picture permanently. It would be so easy. And such a release.
But she's here. And she needs me. So I must be here, too.
Until I'm no longer needed.
I count my remaining days with hers.
Hi Martian Tom,
Perhaps it is time to start a new chapter, and look for a new objective or purpose. Just because one has finished, doesn't mean that another one cannot start! We are in the world for so long, so we may as well enjoy our time and use our time well!
You frequently mention your "role" of caring for others - your mother, your cat etc. And you mention that you work with autistic people as well. Perhaps you could pursue that in some way - you could go around places talking about your experience of autism, and how people can help! I know many firms are looking into this kind of thing in order to help raise awareness of conditions like autism amongst colleagues, so that would be a really well-received and purposeful thing to do while incorporating the key roles you have performed in your life so far!x
Much love <3