No longer needed

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
It occurred to me this morning that my sense of loss isn't just about missing Mum and Dad, but feeling that I'm no longer 'needed'.
When I was looking after Dad I was very 'needed'...often far too much. At the same time I was 'needed' at work and it caused problems when I stepped back at work to care for Dad. But now Dad isn't there and younger colleagues have taken over at work. I have no family of my own and my nephews and nieces have forged their own lives. I'm 'wanted', but not 'needed'.
I guess I need somehow to change the feeling that I'm no longer needed into I now have time to do what I want to do...
Any thoughts?
Could you try a bit of voluntary work as a sort of intermediate step, Juggler? I do think people have to be careful about needing to be needed as it can make you focus on others the whole time rather than yourself. But of course when you're caring you are needed so to have that go from your life is a big shift and it will take time to get used to being needed less and focusing on yourself more. So perhaps some voluntary work to help with the needing to be needed bit and maybe some sort of evening class or one day course in something that just sounds fun and would be just about you doing what you fancy? I suspect it will take time to adjust to a new (and very different lifestyle) now. And sorry that you no longer have your parents around :(
Juggler wrote: I'm 'wanted', but not 'needed'.
Oh boy did that remark hit the nail on the head :(

I've just started volunteering at a local charity shop a couple of times a week and it helps - a bit. Yes, I'm wanted but they don't 'need' me 'cos there are others that would take my place if I wasn't there. Mum 'needed' me and because of that I felt valued and loved - now she's gone there is a big hole in my life and some days I have to find a 'reason' to get out of bed.

I think the trick is to find some way for me to 'need' me - does that make sense ?
I too was looking after both mum and dad and both went in the same year about 6 months apart. I think all of the comments above hold for me. It took a long time for me to get sorted but am now up to my ears in voluntary work. It can take time and for my part I think a little bit is still in care mode. for instance if away from the house for any length of time I sometimes have to remind myself I dont have to be back to cook dinner etc and carry a mobile at all times. The least rational bit is when you feel you could have done better by them well thats daft we all do the best we can at the time with what we have.
First time I have been on here for ages
Caring for someone takes up huge amounts of time, and when you are not actually caring, the worry is always there. Now it's gone and left a void. After my husband died I bought a book called "Starting Again" by Sarah Litvinoff, really designed for people after a divorce, but so much of it was very positive, and it helped me a lot to think about what I wanted to do in future, and what I didn't. As a result, I made significant changes which made me a lot happier. Why not go into a big bookstore and see if you can find a book which seemed relevant to you. I also bought another one book, in the retirement section, called "Silver Fox", a very different book, but it seemed relevant. After all, losing a caree is a cross between divorce, bereavement, and retirement. The practical jobs are done, the house is up for sale, part of your old life has gone forever. If you fancy a relaxing fortnight in the sun, to contemplate where you go from here, I know a lovely place to stay in Crete!
susieq wrote:I think the trick is to find some way for me to 'need' me - does that make sense ?
It does, Sue. I'm feeling rather lost at the moment. I guess it's the changes that have taken place, along with my health (which was okay till the RTA but this has reminded me of the difficulties that comes with back problems) and thinking towards retirement. Emotional roller coaster at the moment having had time think about 'me' over the summer.

I have a feeling of 'change' that I haven't had for years. Once upon a time when this happened, I would start looking for another job and move home to do it. I guess it's the fight or flight thing. In my head I'd like to drop everything and move on, in reality, I haven't the energy or inclination. But it has left me seeing situations through different eyes and I find myself questioning things in a way I didn't before.
Juggler wrote:I have a feeling of 'change' that I haven't had for years.
the thing that suddenly hit me after Mum died was "I'm an orphan now, no longer somebody's child." :shock: I still can't to get grips with the fact that, as the eldest, I'm now the 'matriarch' - I don't feel old enough for the position !
In my head I'd like to drop everything and move on, in reality, I haven't the energy or inclination
It's only been a year so it's still early days yet; your energy and positivity will come back just give it time - in the meantime you need to get over the accident and get yourself back to full fitness, then you'll be in a better position to see ahead and make the right decisions for your future.
walking the dog
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Sure, a pet, like a dog, is a great substitute, and a great way to get out and enjoy walking.