Garry, age 55 / Sydney, Australia

Garry

For me, I had to make that distinction between “Me the Caregiver” and “Me the Person.” I couldn’t see myself as the person in the bed, because if I saw myself as that person in the bed, I wouldn’t still be here now.

I never thought when I started in this area that it’d be anything like this. I just assumed that it was death and dying, that was what we did, and that was a really important function of what I was doing as a caregiver. Helping people in my community through this illness and helping them end their life in a respectful way, but now it’s much more reoriented to living longer and getting older.

What possibly worries me is what will happen when I’m too old to care for myself. My partner is eight years older than I am, and I never thought that I’d get this old. I always thought that I would be dead by 40 – I never thought that I would make old bones. This is a whole different ball game to what I’d had my life mapped out as a long time ago.